Suffolk’s Arnold Allen plans to silence mouthy Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night London
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Suffolk MMA star Arnold Allen intends to do his talking with his fists when he meets flashy Fin Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night London at the O2 Arena this weekend.
Allen, the county’s only fighter so far in the UFC – the premier league of global MMA - can take a big step up the ladder with victory in the fight on Saturday.
Trimley St Martin’s Allen, 23, (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will trade leather with fellow prospect Amirkhani (13-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on the main card of the event, which will be shown live on BT Sport.
It is a match-up which pits two of the hottest prospects in the featherweight division against each other, though they are contrasting characters - ‘Mr Finland’ Amirkhani, who fights out of Conor McGregor’s SBG Gym in Dublin, is known for being flashy and trash-talking, while Allen is modest, humble and unassuming.
“He’s a wild guy and he’s been saying he’s going to finish it fast,” said Allen, who now trains at the world-famous Tristar Gym in Montreal. “I’m expecting him to come out throwing spinning and jumping stuff and all that crap.
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“But I’ve been training specifically for that style - he’s a southpaw too, and I’m ready for that.”
It will be Allen’s first fight for more than a year, with injury meaning he had to pull out of a spot on the main card of UFC 204 in Manchester last October. Thus Saturday will see him appear on the main card of a UFC event for the first time in his promising career.
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“I can’t wait to fight, it’s been way too long,” he said. “Fighting on a main card was one of the goals I wrote down for myself last year, so it will be nice to tick that off, and my plan is to fight three times this year.”
Of his bombastic, talkative foe, he added: “I’m more chilled out - he can say what he wants but it’s all smoke and mirrors, it puts pressure on him. I’m not going to make an idiot of myself.
“It’s going to be a fun fight – he’s going to come out hard trying to finish it fast but I’m pretty confident I can take what he’s going to bring and put on a good performance.”
- Watch Allen in action at UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs. Anderson live in the UK on BT Sport from 9pm on Saturday.