Search

Allen gets his next UFC assignment - and it’s a top ten legend of the sport

PUBLISHED: 08:34 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 07 October 2020

Arnold Allen, right, will fight Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 182 in Las Vegas on November 7 Picture: PA SPORT

Arnold Allen, right, will fight Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 182 in Las Vegas on November 7 Picture: PA SPORT

PA Wire/PA Images

Suffolk’s MMA superstar Arnold Allen called for a fight with all-action icon Jeremy Stephens back in June – and he’s got it.

Suffolk's Arnold Allen, right, is 7-0 in the UFC Picture: PA SPORTSuffolk's Arnold Allen, right, is 7-0 in the UFC Picture: PA SPORT

Trimley St Martin’s Allen (16-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) will square off with the heavy-handed tornado of violence Stephens (28-19 MMA, 15-17 UFC) in Las Vegas on November 7 at UFC Fight Night 182.

It is the perfect fight for the Suffolk southpaw, who owns the longest win streak in the featherweight division, to take another step up the ladder - he’s currently ranked eighth in the world, with Stephens a notch below at nine.

MORE: ‘I don’t think people realise how good I am’ - Allen targets fight with icon next on his way to UFC title shot

‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens is in many ways a gatekeeper to the world’s best - although he’s on a four-fight losing streak, he’s hugely respected, always in exciting fights, and boasts wins over the likes of Renan Barao, Gilbert Melendez and Josh Emmett.

Indeed, Stephens only loses to the elite - so this fight will be a perfect yardstick as to just how good Allen is.

The 26-year-old, who beat renowned veteran Nik Lentz back in January, has been tipped as a future UFC champion by British MMA legend Dan Hardy, and is incredibly well-rounded - his boxing background means he can pick foes apart on the feet, he’s comfortable in grappling exchanges, boasts two submission wins in the UFC and can throw down in a war too.

Arnold Allen is ranked ninth in the world at featherweight. Picture: PA SPORTArnold Allen is ranked ninth in the world at featherweight. Picture: PA SPORT

MORE: ‘I’m going to be the best in the world’ – UFC star Allen looking up the rankings for his next fight

Speaking to us about Stephens in June, Allen said: “That would be the perfect fight for me at this point. Not that I want to pick and choose my fights, but because everyone knows who he is and he’s kind of a gatekeeper.

“He’s fought everyone and picked up some huge wins, and everyone who beats him goes onto big things.

Arnold Allen enters the octagon at UFC London. Picture: BRETT KINGArnold Allen enters the octagon at UFC London. Picture: BRETT KING

“I think I’d pick him apart, like I would most people in the division, but it would be a fun fight for the fans – whereas most of my fights have been against people who just want to take me down or stall.”

He added: “I don’t think people realise how good I am. I’ve got some good names on my record, but I guess some people say I’ve not fought anyone yet. I know if I talked more or I’d stopped all seven of my wins, I’d be right up at the top of the rankings.

MORE: Arnold Allen tipped to be a future UFC champion by MMA legend Dan Hardy

Suffolk's Arnold Allen, left, beat Nik Lentz at UFC Raleigh in January. Picture: ARNOLD ALLEN INSTAGRAMSuffolk's Arnold Allen, left, beat Nik Lentz at UFC Raleigh in January. Picture: ARNOLD ALLEN INSTAGRAM

“I’ve always said that when I get to a position where I can start calling people out I will, so you might start seeing me change a little bit – I’m not going to start being an arsehole, but I think I’ve earned the right to do that now.

“I think if I win my next three fights, I’d have to be right up there for a title shot. Or if I get two straight finishes, I can’t see why I wouldn’t be next in line.

“Knock out Stephens, maybe stop someone like (Brian) Ortega, how could I not get a shot?”

UFC Fight Night 182 is likely to be headlined by a top tier light heavyweight dispute between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira, but Allen v Stephens would seem to be in contention for the co-main event slot.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times