Suffolk’s first UFC fighter Arnold Allen aims for Las Vegas after winning debut in style
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Suffolk’s Arnold Allen has spoken of his dream to fight in Las Vegas after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut in impressive style at the weekend.
Trimley St Martin’s Allen beat foe Alan Omer by submission in the third round at UFC Fight Night in Berlin on Saturday.
It was the culmination of a whirlwind week for Allen, who took the featherweight fight on just five days’ notice, leaping at the chance to fight in the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation.
The guillotine choke win over Omer, who held an impressive record of 18 wins from 22 pro fights, is the biggest of Allen’s young career and came in such devastating style that he earned a $50,000 performance of the night bonus from the UFC.
“I got a bit tired to be honest,” said the 21-year-old, the fourth-youngest fighter on the UFC roster. “I don’t know if it was only having a week to prepare or the nerves, but I was pretty gassed in the second round!
“I thought I won the first round but I knew I lost the second – my coach said I was two rounds down before the third but I thought he was just saying that to get me going.
“As soon as I got my arm round his neck I knew it was over. It was an amazing feeling when he tapped, relief too because it was a hard-fought fight – he was certainly the best guy I’ve fought.
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“The bonus is great – it means I can pay a few bills and I’d like to travel for some training, get to places like the Tri-Star Gym in Canada (home of former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre).”
Allen was due to have an x-ray on a possible broken knuckle yesterday, but after that is eager to get back into the UFC octagon and start climbing the 145lbs rankings.
“I think there’s a show coming up in Dublin but I’ve said I want to go to Las Vegas,” he said. “It would be great to fight there.”
He added: “I definintely want to be in top ten fights, title fights, but I know that’s a long way off.
“My plan has always been to be the champion one day and that’s still the case. I’m only 21-years-old, just had my first UFC fight which I won – I don’t see any reason why in the next five years I can’t be doing that.”