LONDON – After what arguably was the biggest win of his career, Arnold Allen wants to keep climbing – and has a fight rebooking in mind.

Allen (18-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) took care of Dan Hooker (21-12 MMA, 11-8 UFC) with a first-round TKO in the UFC Fight Night 204 co-main event at The O2 in London on Saturday. The finish got Allen one of nine post-fight bonuses – one for each finish on the card – and was his first extra check since 2018.

“I always said the better guys I fight, the better I’m going to show up,” Allen said. “He’s the best guy I’ve fought. He’s the most dangerous guy by a country mile – physically, his skill set, he’s long as anything.

“It definitely wasn’t easy. It was months of driving up and down the country, killing myself training, having anxiety thinking of these stupid things and trying to drown those thoughts out of my hard work. So it definitely wasn’t easy. I feel like I seized (the opportunity) on both ends and did what I’m capable of. The better opponent I face, I still believe there’s a lot more to go – there’s more levels I can go up.”

Allen has had a slow rise up the UFC’s featherweight ladder. After he debuted with the promotion in 2015, he’s had just one calendar year in which he’s fought twice. In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021, he’s fought just one time a year. His win over Hooker was his first fight in 2022, and he joked at his post-fight news conference that fighting once a year has worked out pretty well for him so far – to the tune of 9-0 in the UFC.

But he called out Calvin Kattar for a fight that would be a rebooking after their initial matchup was scrapped due to an Allen injury, and Kattar’s management told MMA Junkie a June matchup would be great on his side.

“I want to be in the top five and I think he’s top five,” Allen said. “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 (Hooker), so that works out. He’s predominantly a boxer, I’m predominantly a boxer, so it’s a fan-friendly fight. I think I’m the better boxer.”

Allen told MMA Junkie he thought a June fight could work, too.

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