Suffolk UFC star Allen to meet MMA legend Melendez in Las Vegas
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Suffolk’s Arnold Allen is set for his biggest fight yet in the world-famous UFC when he squares off with former title challenger Gilbert Melendez.
Allen (13-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will do battle with MMA legend Melendez (22-7, 1-5 UFC) in a featherweight fight at the Ultimate Fighter 28 finale at the Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas on November 30.
It is a huge opportunity for Trimley St Mary’s Allen to notch a win over a big name fighter, but also a stern test – Melendez is a former Strikeforce and WEC champion, and challenged Anthony Pettis for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 181 in December 2014, losing by guillotine choke in the second round.
He last fought in September 2017, losing on points to perennial featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens.
Allen, 24, is on the brink of moving into the top 15 world rankings at featherweight, having won four straight fights since signing for the UFC.
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In his most recent bout, he submitted tough Dane Mads Burnell via a dramatic ninja choke in the final round of their fight at UFC Liverpool in May.
He’s also beaten Alan Omer, Yaotzin Meza and Makwan Amirkhani in his UFC career so far.
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A win over such a well-known fighter as Melendez would catapult Allen into the mainstream MMA spotlight, and serve to set him up for some huge fights with top 15 opponents in 2019.
Allen, who learned his trade at Dynamo Fightsports in Felixstowe under Mark Nixon and at BKK Fighters in Colchester under Jack Mason, now trains at the world-famous Tristar Gym in Montreal under Firas Zahabi.
The Suffolk southpaw has already been tipped as a future UFC champion by British MMA legend Dan Hardy.
The Ultimate Fighter 28 finale is set to be headlined by a welterweight fight between Kamaru Usman and Rafael Dos Anjos.