Arnold Allen celebrating his win over Dan Hooker at UFC London. | Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Allen wants to keep climbing up the featherweight ranks and thinks a fight with Kattar would be a good next step.
Arnold Allen delivered an exciting performance in front of a lively crowd at The O2 in London and would like to do it again against a top-five name in the featherweight division.
Allen scored a first-round technical knockout of Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC London on Saturday night. The 28-year-old tore through Hooker, who found himself on the receiving end of blistering combinations that stunned him several times before the referee saw enough and waved off the fight.
Though Allen finished Hooker with relative ease, the Tristar Gym product told assembled media during his post-fight press conference that it was anything but easy. He explained that his preparation for the fight was difficult for various reasons, but was able to overcome those asperities to earn what could be the biggest win of his career thus far.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” said Allen (video provided by MMA Fighting). “It was months of driving up and down the country, killing myself training, having anxiety, thinking all these stupid things and trying to drown those thoughts out of my hard work. And yeah, it definitely wasn’t easy.
“I feel like I seized [the opportunity] on both ends and did what I know I’m capable of,” continued Allen. “The better opponent I face, I still believe there’s a lot more to go. There’s more levels I can go up.”
With one high-profile name added to his resume, Allen has set his sights on another in Calvin Kattar. Allen mentioned Kattar in his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping and was met with a boisterous reaction, so he sees that fight as a good option for his next appearance.
“I want to be in the top five and I think he’s top five,” said Allen. “That’s a fight that would put me there. We got offered that fight for a main event spot last year or earlier in the year, but I was out with injury. I think it works really good. He’s less tall than this guy, so that works out. He’s predominantly a boxer, I’m predominantly a boxer, so it’s a fan-friendly fight and I think I’m the better boxer.”
Kattar and his team have since responded to Allen, telling Nolan King of MMA Junkie that they would be happy to meet the Englishman in the summer.