‘With the right game plan, he’s the best’ – British MMA legend Mason backs Allen to win UFC title
- Credit: PA
Suffolk UFC star Arnold Allen will be the best featherweight fighter on the planet.
So says Jack Mason, a legend of the British MMA scene, one of Allen’s first coaches and his mentor and manager.
The 25-year-old put on a punch perfect display to totally nullify tough American grappler Jordan Rinaldi at the O2 Arena on Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd of 16,000 plus at UFC London, the biggest MMA event in UK history.
His latest win means he’s now 5-0 in the UFC – the Champions League of mixed martial arts – and owns the second-longest winning streak in the 145lbs division behind only long-reigning champion Max Holloway.
Trimley St Martin’s Allen, 14-1 overall in his career, will surely now be in line for a top 15 world ranking and a huge fight in America this summer.
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Of his display against Rinaldi, Mason said: “It was the performance that we wanted to see from Arnold since he walked in the gym. He’s always been capable of it, and that was the one. It was a real dangerous opponent, and he shut him down completely. It was lovely.”
And Mason believes Allen, who started his training at Dynamo in Felixstowe and BKK in Colchester before heading to the famed Tristar Gym in Montreal, will one day rule the world.
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He enthused: “Arnold’s a star – I believe he’s the big star that the UFC really needs from Europe and the UK. As you’ve seen tonight, with a measured performance he’s a world beater.
“He looks great, he’s got a great personality – he’s the full package. He definitely needs a step up for the next one, but that guy was really good as well, so keep going – he’s only 25 and that title is going to be his within the next four years.
“He can beat anyone in the world. With the right game plan, he’s the best. He can wrestle, he’s got excellent jiu-jitsu and if he lands a shot on you clean, it’s good night. He’s definitely a future world champ.”
Allen himself said: “I was happy with how everything went down and I would have been very happy to get the finish – that’s the mark of a perfect performance for me – but I didn’t get taken down once and I didn’t really get hit too much.”
When asked if he was hoping for a big fight in the summer, he said: “Yeah, maybe late August, something like that. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m going to be back in Ipswich for a bit – maybe enough to see Ipswich go down, hopefully not! – so August or maybe even a little bit later. “As long as it’s 2019, I’m happy.”