Arnold Allen is coming off of his breakout win against Dan Hooker, back from UFC London in March, yet despite this breakthrough win it still feels Allen is overlooked by the mma community.
Arnold Allen is a funny but quiet character with well rounded skills but when you pair this quietness with his slight inactivity due to hand injuries, often he is forgotten about even now when fans are looking for the next featherweight contender. The truth is if Allen wasn’t just a regular bloke from Felixstowe who lets his fighting do the talking and instead was a loud mouthed character fans would be calling for him to challenge volkanovski or for at least a clear number one contender fight. And while his upcoming fight against Kattar could be this number one contender match up the featherweight division needs I find it hard to believe Dana would allow Allen a title shot due to his low profile. While this is understandable as there are more popular characters at featherweight who are yet to challenge the P4P 1 such as Yair and Josh Emmet it confuses me why Allen is so often overlooked when he has never lost in the ufc much like the reigning champ.
What we’re seeing right now in fact has many parallels to what we saw with Allen’s training partner at Renegade Gym in Birmingham, the undisputed welterweight champion Leon Edwards. A humble British fighter who has missed out on opportunities due to misfortune, injuries and lack of stardom but finally Leon became undeniable in deserving to challenge Kamaru Usman (at the time pound for pound 1). Leon came into that fight a massive underdog who was overlooked by fans, media and even Usman; however we saw the overlooked, mistreated fighter finally get what he deserved with that beautiful headkick. And while I’m not saying that I believe Allen is destined to earn his shot and go out there and spark the pound for pound 1 fighter unconcoious, I just find it hard to not illustrate this clear parallels between the situation.
Anyway Arnold being overlooked simply will not matter if he were to lose to Calvin Kattar on October 29th in his first UFC main event which is sure to be a technical but entertaining tear up between two elite featherweight contenders. I, as well as hopefully many fans will be watching this fight to see how Allen can take another step up in talent and experience and also how Kattar can bounce back from his close decision lose to Josh Emmet