‘I’m going to be the best in the world’ – UFC star Allen looking up the rankings for his next fight
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Suffolk’s Arnold Allen says he doesn’t fear anyone in the UFC featherweight division after confirming his status as one of the hottest prospects in all of MMA with a dominant win over legend Gilbert Melendez last weekend.
Allen turned in his second-straight sensational performance at UFC 239 in Las Vegas last Saturday, following up his shut-out win over Jordan Rinaldi at UFC London in March by totally outclassing icon Melendez, a former UFC title challenger and Strikeforce champion.
The punch perfect points win saw the Trimley St Martin southpaw (now 15-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) ranked in the world's top 15 for the first time, going straight in at 13 when the new rankings were released earlier this week.
He said: "It was definitely one of my best performances - exactly how I expected it to go. He was actually slower than I thought he'd be. I did eat a few shots, but that was my own fault!
"Getting that world ranking means a lot - it's a goal I've had for a long time, and the timing is right. It's good that I've had time to make improvements (before being ranked)."
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So what's next for Allen? He boasts the second-longest winning streak in the division behind only long-reigning champion Max Holloway and one ahead of the man many fans are calling for him to fight next, fellow super-prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov (17-1), who's ranked sixth in the world.
"I'm looking towards the end of the year, something in November or December," Allen said. "No names, but whatever puts me up the rankings, looking forward, not back.
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"I want to fight someone in the top 15, ideally above me, but whatever my team thinks is best is what I'll do."
Allen's timeframe could fit in with the UFC's trip to the iconic Madison Square Graden in New York for UFC 244 on November 2 - something which the Suffolk scrapper wouldn't rule out.
"Fighting at Madison Square Garden is for sure another goal of mine," he said. "I've actually been to watch an event there and it's an incredible arena."
Having previously revealed that his dream fight would be against the consensus best feathwerweight of all time, brilliant Brazilian Jose Aldo, Allen is now moving towards battles like that becoming a reality - and he fears no man at 145 poounds.
"I think my style is pretty diverse everywhere," he said. "I've got wins of all sorts, against wrestlers, grapplers and strikers. There's no-one that I fear in the top 15.
"I'll just keep chipping away - whatever I'm doing seems to be working.
"I'm going to be the best in the world, that's the plan. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if I didn't believe that."