What’s next for UFC featherweight contender Arnold Allen?
English Tristar standout Arnold Allen has been making some serious waves in the UFC’s featherweight division as of late.
Actually, he’s been perfect thus far inside the octagon, spanning back to a promotional debut in June of 2015.
Coming over with a record of 9-1 as the M4TC featherweight champion, Allen submitted Alan Omer (18-4) with a guillotine choke at 1:41 of round three, showing us he belongs in the big show. Omer has since gone 6-0, improving his record to 24-5.
Next came a unanimous decision victory over Yaotzin Meza (21-10), before edging a win over Makwan Amirkhani (13-2) via split decision. This was followed up by another submission (front choke) victory, this one coming over Mads Burnell (9-2) at 2:41 of the third and final round.
Burnell has since gone 7-1, as he’s doing very well in Bellator right now after laying claim to the Cage Warriors featherweight championship in 2019.
Next came four-straight unanimous decision victories over the likes of Jordan Rinaldi (14-6), former multi-time Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (22-7), longtime UFC staple Nik Lentz (30-10-2), and fellow ranked contender Sodiq Yusuff (11-1), who’s since rebounded with an impressive victory over Alex Caceres.
If there’s one critique fans could have about Allen, it’s that he isn’t much of a finisher, or at least hasn’t been since coming over to the UFC. He was 8-0 in the promotion with six decisions, and both finishes came late in the fight.
However, he shut those critics up at UFC London, as he handily dispatched of Dan Hooker, finishing him off via TKO at 2:33 of the opening round. Hooker is a professional kickboxer, and he’s one of the more durable talents in the entire sport.
Allen made it look easy, too easy, he absolutely battered Hooker, and he’s since jumped up to No. 6 in the featherweight rankings.
That means talents like Josh Emmett (7), Giga Chikadze (8), Bryce Mitchell (9), and Dan Ige (10) are ranked behind him, while Calvin Kattar (5), Chan Sung Jung (4), Yair Rodriguez (3), Brian Ortega (2), Max Holloway (1), and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski are ahead of him.
With the way he’s out-skilled everyone he’s fought thus far, why not give him someone ranked ahead of him?
Allen is still only 28 years old, having just turned 28 in January, and he’s already one of the most technical talents on the whole roster. His striking is so clean and crisp, his shot selection is great, and he can grapple incredibly well, both offensively and defensively.
It’s a likely possibility we see this young man wear UFC gold before his career is all said and done.
That being said, which of the above names would you like to see him face next?
If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to share it on social media!
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!