After UFC Liverpool win, Arnold Allen dreams of fight in Las Vegas against Enrique Barzola
- Credit: PA
Ipswich UFC star Arnold Allen is riding one of the longest winning streaks in his division – and taking aim at a huge fight in Las Vegas next.
Allen, 24, submitted Mads Burnell in dramatic fashion in the third and final round of their clash at UFC Liverpool last month, earning himself a $50,000 bonus as one of the performances of the night in the process.
He’s now 4-0 in the world-famous UFC, the Champions League of mixed martial arts, and fancies a match-up with fellow red-hot featherweight prospect Enrique Barzola, who’s also won four fights in a row.
The pair were due to fight at UFC 220 in Boston back in January, but the fight was pulled at the last minute due to a paperwork mix-up.
Now Allen, from Trimley St Martin, who boasts a 13-1 (4-0 UFC) overall MMA record, thinks it’s time for the duo to dance in the octagon.
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“It’s a fight that was due to happen before and we’ve both won four in a row, so it makes sense,” said Allen, who has so far only fought for the UFC in Europe. “That said, I’ll speak to Firas (Zahabi, his coach at the renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal) and see what he says.
“I’d love to go to America to fight on a numbered UFC card – and Las Vegas is the capital of fight sport so it would be a dream to fight there.
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“Hopefully I’ll be out again in September and can get two more fights in before the end of the year, that would be ideal.”
Of the fight against Burnell, which saw him arguably two rounds down before he got the finish with a ‘ninja choke’ – almost identical circumstances and ending to his short-notice UFC debut against Alan Omer back in 2015 – Allen said he never doubted he could get the win.
“I had a chest infection for a couple of weeks in the run-up to the fight and I just couldn’t catch my breath,” he explained.
“But after two rounds I knew I had enough in the striking and submission game to get the finish so I was still confident.
“That choke is a nice little tool to have when someone hangs their neck out, and I noticed he was resting his neck on my forearm in takedown attempts in the first couple of rounds, so I went for it.
“I knew I had it straight away – it was locked in. There was a bit of relief on my part – I was cutting it close!”
The win was also notable for Allen as he had dad Pacer – a former fighter and strongman – in his corner after Jack Mason, his head coach at Colchester-based BKK Fighters, couldn’t make the event.
“It was Jack’s wedding anniversary and he was in Ibiza,” Allen said. “He was due to come back but his flight got cancelled, so I disguised my dad as Jack and had him in the corner!
“It was really good to have him there – he loved it.”