Rising star Arnold Allen targets Cage Warriors featherweight title and UFC move in 2015
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s top mixed martial arts fighter Arnold Allen has very clear goals for 2015.
The 20-year-old hopes to lift the Cage Warriors featherweight title belt and sign for the world famous Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) – the premier MMA promotion on the planet – in the next 12 months.
Trimley St Martin’s Allen has just lifted the first professional title of his promising career, beating Paul Cook in the North East last month to lift the Made 4 The Cage lightweight strap.
It came after Allen saw two opponent pull-outs thwart a scheduled Cage Warriors fight at the Copperbox Arena in mid-November.
“I didn’t get an opponent for Cage Warriors because of a couple of late pull-outs,” he explained.
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“They said if I could get myself a fight then go for it, so it wasn’t a wasted fight camp.”
And thus Allen – whose career record now reads nine wins and one loss – travelled to Houghton le Spring to battle Cook, a veteran with a 14-5 record, at lightweight – 10 lbs higher than his favoured division.
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But he duly stopped Cook after two rounds, vicious elbows on the ground opening several cuts on the home fighter’s face, and he could not come out for the final stanza.
“There was no problem taking a fight at lightweight,” Allen said.
“That’s basically the weight (155lbs) that I walk around at and I train every day with two of the best lightweights in the country in Sean Carter and Jason Cooledge, so I knew I’d be fine.
“He was probably the best guy I’ve fought so far, and he’d had a lot of fights.
“He was strong and I was giving away weight – in the first round he wanted to stall and hold, and I don’t think he was that good on his feet.
“He quit on his stool at the end of the second round. He had several facial cuts, the initial one caused by a punch and two more caused by my elbows – it’s just an effective strike on the floor, and it seems to work for me.”
Despite his success, Allen won’t defend the title, setting his sights instead on returning to Cage Warriors – Europe’s top MMA organisation – and building towards their featherweight (145lbs) title.
“It was pretty cool to win the title – it’s a nice belt as well – especially going into the guy’s hometown, in front of 300 of his fans, and beating him,” Allen explained.
“But I want to vacate it and hopefully one of my team-mates will get to fight for it.
“It’s been a good year overall, apart from the loss (the first of his pro career, to Marcin Wrozek) but I learned from that and came back a different fighter.
“In 2015 I hope to travel to the States to do some training, that would be cool.”
Indeed, Allen is set to head to San Diego and the famed Alliance training camp, home to former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, and highly-rated English lightweight Ross Pearson.
“It would be good to get a different viewpoint, and train with some more high level guys,” Allen said.
“The plan for next year is to be in the UFC, having won the Cage Warriors title, that would be nice.
“My goal, when I signed for Cage Warriors, was to win the title when I was 21 and I’m 21 in January, so I need to get moving!
“There’s been no contact from the UFC yet, but if I keep having exciting fights and keep winning them, I’m sure they will show interest.”
Allen hopes to have his first fight of 2015 for Cage Warriors in March.