Arnold Allen just edged a frenetic grappling battle with Makwan Amirkhani tonight at UFC Fight Night 107 in London, England.
Amirkhani tries a jumping knee to start but it misses and Allen responds with a front kick .
Amirkhani uses the jab as a set-up for a takedown and is able to get Allen down just for a moment before he pops up again. Amirkhani remains locked on though and then slams Allen back to the mat.
Nice work from him and he continues working at a high tempo as he tries for a choke. It looks like he’s starting to cinch it up, but he’s not able to finish it and Allen does well to stand up again.
Now it’s Allen’s turn to take Amirkhani down close to the cage. Amirkhani lands a nice elbow from his back, but then it’s Allen who settles into half guard and lands some good elbows of his own.
Amirkhani scrambles back to his feet and presses Allen up against the cage, then brings him to the mat again. He’s not able to keep him down for long though and as he gets bak up Allen presses his opponent to the fence.
They are both jockeying for position in the clinch here in the final minute of the round. The ref decides nothing is happening and separates them.
Allen with a kick but eats a solid counter hook. Allen lands a good strike and tries to keep that momentum going, but Amirkhani works into the clinch.
Amirkhani in on a single leg takedown immediately and gets Allen down. Amirkhani has Allen sitting against the cage as he works for a d’arce choke and drops down with it when his opponent tries to stand.
Allen able to get out of the choke, but as they scramble Amirkhani dives for an armbar, but it doesn’t pay off and Allen ends up on top.
Allen trying to work his way into full mount. Amirkhani doing his best to keep a leg between them, but Allen does manage to get to that dominant position and blasts down an elbow.
Amirkhani manages to get out of full mount, but Allen is still in a good spot in half guard here and looking to land ground and pound.
Slowly but surely Amirkhani works his way to his feet. He starts trying to strike, but he’s looking lethargic out there now. He shoots in for a takedown, but it’s stuffed and Allen goes for a guillotine choke.
Amirkhani able to defend that though and scrambles to end on top in the center of the Octagon. He takes his time in half-guard, regaining his breath.
Allen able to get back to full guard and starts putting his legs up looking for a potential submission, but Amirkhani steers clear of that to end the round on top.
Amirkhani feeling out with a few right hooks. He works for a takedown, but Allen stuffs it nicely. Allen has a bit more spring in his step and starts putting some sting behind his punches and one lands hard to get his opponent’s attention.
Both men land a punch at the same time. Amirkhani then shoots in for another takedown attempt and partially gets Allen down. Allen works to his feet at the cage, but Amirkhani stays clinched up.
Real battle for control here and Allen lands a nice hip toss, but Amirkhani scrambles and gets straight back up.
Soon after they hit the deck again with another scramble ensuing and Amirkhani getting on top in half guard. Allen able to get him back to full guard and surprisingly the ref steps in and forces them to stand. That was definitely premature.
Nonetheless, Allen welcomes it and tries for a takedown, but doesn’t get it. He settles for pressing Amirkhani to the cage as this gruelling fight comes towards a conclusion.
Allen working hard and is able to bring Amirkhani down. His opponent tries to scramble out, but Allen denies him and tries to sink in a choke in the final seconds, but he doesn’t quite have it and we’re headed to the judges for a decision.
What a hectic fight that was, with both fighters giving it everything they had in the frequent grappling exchanges that ebbed and flowed from start to finish.
The judges don’t all agree on who should emerge victorious, but in the end it’s Allen who gets the nod from two of them to win by split decision (28-29, 30-27 x2).