Arnold Allen thinking of main event slot after UFC Liverpool fight with Mads Burnell
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Suffolk’s Arnold Allen steps into the cage for the biggest fight of his career on Sunday – and he feels it’s his time to shine.
Allen faces a tough test against Dane Mads Burnell at UFC Liverpool, which is perhaps the most high profile MMA event held in the UK so far, headlined by Scouse superstar in the making Darren Till against two-time world title challenger Stephen Thompson.
If he wins Allen, 24, will move to 4-0 in the world famous octagon, and he plans for his next move to be a step into the main event spotlight on his way to UFC featherweight gold.
“It’s my time to shine,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to getting in there, bringing home the win and putting on a great performance – and then getting back in there again soon and keeping busy.
“Mads is a dangerous opponent. If I’m not on my A-game, it won’t be a good night for me – but I’m not planning on that!”
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Allen, from Trimley St Mary, was tipped as a future UFC champion by UK MMA legend Dan Hardy earlier this week, who also compared him to two-weight champion Georges St Pierre, the man whom Allen often trains alongside at the renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal.
And the Suffolk southpaw said he was flattered by Hardy’s praise – but he’s not feeling the pressure of such lofty predictions, or fighting so high up – he’s the third to last fight – on such a big card.
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“I don’t feel any extra pressure,” said Allen, who still trains at Dynamo Fight Sports in Felixstowe and BKK Fighters in Colchester when he returns to the UK.
“This is what I’ve worked for and what I feel I deserve – and hopefully next year I can get a main event on a UFC card.
“Winning the title is the plan, for sure – that’s why I fight, to be the best.”
Of the GSP comparison, he added: “I don’t know about that! Often when we wrestle or roll together he’ll pull me up on things – and coming from a guy like that, you can only take that stuff on board and be grateful for it.”
Allen has previously said that, if he wins this weekend, he’ll be calling out someone for his next fight – and that’s still the plan.
“There’s definitely fights out there that make sense,” he said. “Enrique Barzola, who I was meant to fight at the start of the year, that makes sense, he’s just had a good decision win on UFC Chile.
“There’s plenty of options, so we’ll see what the UFC want to do. It will all come – I’ll just keep working hard.”