Suffolk's Arnold Allen is aiming to prove he deserves a UFC title shot when he squares off with Calvin Kattar in Las Vegas this weekend.

Allen, 28, has never lost in the world-famous octagon and enters his first-ever UFC main event this Saturday on an 11-fight winning run.

The Trimley southpaw (18-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) is the sixth-ranked featherweight on the planet, with Kattar (23-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) a place above him in that list.

Both fighters have been calling for the scrap, with Allen saying it's a no-brainer bit of match-making.

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen on his way to victory over Dan Hooker in MarchArnold Allen on his way to victory over Dan Hooker in March (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

"He's a logical step for me," Allen explained. "He's currently one place above me in the rankings, our styles are pretty good and suit for a fun fight.

"He's predominantly a boxer, I'm predominantly a boxer, so it should be a good stand-up fight on paper.

"There's a lot of things he does that I like - the main thing is that he's as tough as nails.

"I don't think there's any quit in him and he's never been stopped.

"He's good, very good - and those are the type of guys I want to compete against to push me into that elite picture."

Though he may not say it explicity, the ever-humble Allen is already firmly in that elite picture, with his last fight solid evidence of just that - a first round stoppage of top tier Kiwi striker Dan Hooker, a man who's only ever lost to the best on the planet, at the O2 Arena in March.

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen lands shots on Dan Hooker in MarchArnold Allen lands shots on Dan Hooker in March (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

"It was everything I wanted, the statement I wanted to make," Allen said of his first KO win in the UFC.

"I've always believed that the better the opposition the better I'm going to perform - and I think I did exactly that against Dan, who's got a lot of big wins and elite guys on his resume.

"So to have him on mine is a big step."

And the next step is his first main event, over five, five minute rounds in the fight capital of the world.

Asked if it was a strange feeling to see himself plastered across fight posters and flashy TV ads as the face of the event, Allen laughed.

"Not in a cocky way or anything, but I feel like I've put the work in," he said. 

"I've worked very hard and it's always been part of the plan.

"I write my list down and if anything it's a bit late with various delays and things.

"I've been visualising these things for years, and it's finally coming."

Much of that work, for his last two fights, has been done at Team Renegade in Birmimgham, training alongside the UK's newest UFC champion, Leon Edwards.

Edwards, like Allen, doesn't seek the limelight or talk much trash - preferring to go quietly about the business of being the best in the world, a title he earned when he knocked out long-reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in August.

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen is 9-0 in the UFCArnold Allen is 9-0 in the UFC (Image: UFC Europe/Twitter)

And for Allen, who sees a lot of similarities between himself and his fellow Brit, that upset win has served as even more fuel for his own title-seeking fire.

"To be honest, Leon was the first guy I spoke to after they offered me this fight - I asked his advice on the five rounds," Allen revealed.

"I think he said he took his first five rounder on four weeks' notice, and he wasn't training like I'm training, he was on the sofa.

"He was like 'you'll be fine', so I said 'ok, sounds good."

Of Edwards, he added: "He's really good, a really smooth operator.

"When I was telling people that I thought he was going to win against Usman everyone laughed at me, but I was saying it because I know him.

"He's definitely an inspiration. Around Birmingham at the minute there's billboards with his face on, big posters on walls - and it would be pretty cool to bring that back to Ipswich." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen is the sixth-ranked featherweight fighter on the planetArnold Allen is the sixth-ranked featherweight fighter on the planet (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

He wants to bring a UFC title belt back to Ipswich too - so how close does he feel he is to a tilt at holder Alex Volkanovski?

"I'm definitely close ," Allen said. "A couple of wins away from it.

"Volkanovski is getting the next lightweight shot, so I'm assuming there will be an interim title fight at some point.

"I guess that could be next for me."

Of the Australian champion, he added: "I think I match up quite well. His main weapon is his strategy - he's a great tactician and he never really comes away from his gameplan, he executes it perfectly.

"I'm also like that - not the last fight though!

"Working with someone like Firas (Zahabi, Allen's world-renowned head coach), he's one of the best at coming up with strategies and plans.

"I'd be confident with something like that."

First, of course, he has to get past Kattar this weekend. How does he see that fight playing out?

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen has never been beaten inside the UFC octagonArnold Allen has never been beaten inside the UFC octagon (Image: Archant)

"I'm expecting a 25-minute fight," Allen explained. "He doesn't take a backwards step, he's a guy who's going to walk forward with his hands stuck to his head, throw punches, elbows and knees ad try to take you out.

"Sometimes I oblige that, and sometimes I move out of the way!

"It's a mixed bag with me, but you know what to expect from him.

"It's always a dog fight - he's going to walk you down and try to take your head off.

"I think I'm going to out-manoeuvre him, out-skill him and just be too versatile really."

With Allen riding high in the MMA world, Ipswich boxer Fabio Wardley set to fight for the British heavyweight title next month and Ipswich Town pushing for promotion, sport in the town is enjoying a boom period.

And Town fan Allen, asked if this was finally the season for his Blues to go up, replied: "Yeah, this is the season - things are looking up.

"I think for the whole town, things are looking up.

"Fab's (Wardley) going to have some news soon, I'm fighting in a UFC main event, Ipswich Town are going up.

"There's going to be more people coming through in boxing and MMA - it's going to be good, exciting times."

The Blues recently made Allen a guest of honour at Portman Road, with the young fighter tackling a half-time interview with Stephen Foster on the hallowed turf.

East Anglian Daily Times: Arnold Allen hopes for an interim title shot next yearArnold Allen hopes for an interim title shot next year (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

He recalled: "That was more nerve-wracking than fighting in front of 20,000 people - you don't really have to talk when you're fighting!

"It was cool, but I was more nervous for that than fighting, to be honest."

Allen's going to have to get used to being the centre of attention as he climbs up the fistic ranks and ticks things off his list of goals.

So, what else is on that list?

"I'd like to be champion," he replies. "I wrote this when I was young, so I've got to buy my mum and dad a house - but I can't even buy my own house yet!