Video: Suffolk fighter Arnold Allen signs for the UFC and will make debut in Berlin
- Credit: Archant
Trimley mixed martial arts fighter Arnold Allen will realise his dream this weekend when he steps into the cage for the world-famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in Berlin.
The 21-year-old, who has been fighting professionally for three years, got his big chance yesterday when fellow Brit Mike Wilkinson was forced to pull out of his featherweight fight with Iraqi Alan Omer due to injury.
Allen was duly given the opportunity to fight on the UFC Fight Night card with just five days’ notice – and grabbed it with both hands.
The UFC is the world’s biggest mixed martial arts organisation, with its top stars earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per fight and enjoying fame across the globe.
“It’s great,” Allen, nicknamed “Almighty”, said yesterday. “It’s been what I’ve been waiting for – I’ve been on the injury call-up list for a bit, but to get the call was fantastic.”
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Trimley St Martin’s Allen, who holds a 9-1 professional record, made his name fighting for the Cage Warriors promotion in Europe, before winning the Made 4 the Cage lightweight title in November.
Now finally on the grandest stage of all, where he’ll be one of the UFC’s youngest fighters, he fully intends to put on a show and win in style.
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His opponent Omer is a 26-year-old mechanical engineering student who boasts an impressive fighting record of 18 wins against just four losses.
Having trained in Germany, he’s likely to enjoy some raucous home support.
Allen, however, is undaunted by the prospect.
He said: “He lost to a former Cage Warriors’ champion (Jim Alers) in his last fight but he’s a good tough guy who’s well-rounded, with a lot of submission wins.
“He’s a good opponent and it’s a tough challenge.
“But they said to me about being a reserve so I’m ready – I’ve been training well and my weight’s fine.
“It’s taken longer than I expected to get the UFC call but when I started out it was my goal to get there by the time I was 21, and I’ve done it.
“It’s going to be an amazing feeling but it’s just another fight and all part of my plan.
“I’ve got to go in there, impress and win.”
- UFC Fight Night will be shown on PICK TV (Sky 152) from 11pm on Saturday.