Suffolk UFC fighter Arnold Allen ‘confident’ ahead of clash with Yaotzin Meza at the O2 Arena

Arnold Allen celebrates victory in his UFC debut. Photo: ZUFFA

Arnold Allen celebrates victory in his UFC debut. Photo: ZUFFA - Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Suffolk’s rising MMA star Arnold Allen can take the next step up the fistic ladder and tick off another of his career goals when he fights at the famed O2 Arena in London in February.

Allen lands a left hook on his way to beating Alan Omer in Germany in June. Photo: ZUFFA

Allen lands a left hook on his way to beating Alan Omer in Germany in June. Photo: ZUFFA - Credit: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Trimley St Martin’s Allen will face experienced American Yaotzin Meza in his second fight with the world-famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on February 27.

He won his UFC debut in style in June, submitting skilled foe Alan Omer in the third round of their clash in Germany, pocketing a $50,000 performance bonus in the process. Now the 21-year-old featherweight (10-1) will pit his wits against wily veteran Meza, who boasts a career record of 21 wins, 10 losses and one no contest, on a fight card topped by English UFC superstar Michael Bisping.

“The first UFC I went to was at the O2,” Allen said. “Since then I’ve wanted to fight there, it’s like ticking off one of my goals.”

Since his impressive debut Allen has been training at the renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal, home to UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, welterweight contender Rory MacDonald and respected coach Firas Zihabi.


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And Allen believes the new weapons he’s adding to his arsenal will be enough to see him past the challenge of Meza, 34, who has fought six times in the UFC, winning two fights, losing three and having one loss turned into a no contest after his opponent failed a post-fight drugs test.

“I’m learning loads of new skills and working with great coaches and sparring partners day in, day out,” the Suffolk fighter said of his time at Tristar.

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“Sometimes I feel like I’m a beginner again, which is really refreshing.

“Meza, as expected, is a tough fight against a very experienced opponent but I’m confident I have got the skills to get the win.”

After that, Allen is looking to make 2016 a big year for him as he moves up the featherweight rankings towards the top 10 and charismatic Irish champion Conor McGregor, the first European man to hold a UFC belt.

“My goals for 2016 are to be active and win all of the fights on my contract,” he said. “I’m not bothered where the fights are, but Las Vegas would be cool!”

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