Suffolk UFC fighter Arnold Allen ‘better than ever’ ahead of UFC London bout with Yaotzin Meza

Arnold Allen fights at the O2 this weekend

Arnold Allen fights at the O2 this weekend - Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Suffolk’s rising mixed martial arts star Arnold Allen has warned his next foe that he’s better than ever ahead of their battle at the world-famous 02 Arena this weekend.

Allen won a $50,000 performance bonus for his UFC debut win over Alan Omer

Allen won a $50,000 performance bonus for his UFC debut win over Alan Omer - Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Allen, of Trimley St Martin, fights experienced American grappler Yaotzin Meza at UFC Fight Night London on Saturday, at an event headlined by a bout between the legendary Anderson Silva and English star Michael Bisping.

And the 22-year-old, who won a $50,000 performance of the night bonus for his sparkling submission win over Alan Omer on his UFC debut in Germany last June, is planning to put on an even better show for his home fans.

He’s been training at the famed Tristar Gym in Montreal for the last three months, sharpening his weapons for his second trip to the octagon.

“It’s sometimes a bit humbling,” he said of training at Tristar. “You can have some of the amateurs there putting a whupping on you – there’s high level training partners left right and centre.

“I just feel I’ve matured as a fighter – I’m using my brain a lot more.

“The only thing I miss from home is my dog, Trafford! I’m think I’m going to be better than ever – I should be.”

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Of his foe Meza, a 34-year-old with six UFC fights – including those against big names like Chad Mendes, Sergio Pettis and Sam Sicilia – on his 21-10 record, Allen added: “He’s from a good camp, he’s very experienced.

“It’s going to a be a hard fight, he’ll come in with a good gameplan and he’s been in with some of the best so he won’t be fazed by fighting an unknown like me – which is good for me.”

While their fight will be at featherweight (145lbs), Meza has fought down at bantamweight (135lbs), while Allen won a title at lightweight (155lbs) back in England, so he’s likely to be the bigger man in the cage on the night.

But the Suffolk fighter can’t see that being a deciding factor.

He explained: “I think my technique and skill is going to be the factor, rather than size and weight.

“All my fights have been exciting so I don’t expect anything less this time – hopefully just less of the getting hit and me doing more of the hitting!

“I just want a nice professional performance and a win – if the bonus comes, then it comes.”

Watch Arnold in action at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping on Saturday, live on UFC Fight Pass.