Arnold Allen was one of the biggest winners at this weekend’s highly entertaining UFC: London event with an impressive TKO finish of Dan Hooker and now he’s going after Calvin Kattar.
“I want to be in the top five and I think he’s top five,” Allen said of Kattar after his co-main event win. “That’s a fight that would put me there. We got offered that fight for a main event spot last year or earlier in the year, but I was out with injury.
“I think it works really good. He’s less tall than (Hooker), so that works out. He’s predominantly a boxer, I’m predominantly a boxer, so it’s a fan-friendly fight. I think I’m the better boxer.”
Allen certainly showed off his hands against Hooker, rocking him early with heavy punches and then proceeded to launch a relentless offensive attack that had his opponent’s legs buckling multiple times before the referee waved the fight off.
It was an uncharacteristically aggressive display of offense from Allen, and he says that going up against tougher opposition is bringing out the best in him.
“I always said the better guys I fight, the better I’m going to show up,” Allen said. “He’s the best guy I’ve fought. He’s the most dangerous guy by a country mile – physically, his skill set, he’s long as anything.
“It definitely wasn’t easy. It was months of driving up and down the country, killing myself training, having anxiety thinking of these stupid things and trying to drown those thoughts out of my hard work. So it definitely wasn’t easy. I feel like I seized (the opportunity) on both ends and did what I’m capable of. The better opponent I face, I still believe there’s a lot more to go – there’s more levels I can go up.”
Allen now holds a 9-0 record in the UFC, while Kattar is 7-3 and is coming off a big win against Giga Chikadze at the start of the year.
It remains to be seen whether the UFC will book that fight, but Dana White made it clear after Saturday’s show that Allen is now firmly on his radar as one of the featherweight division’s top talents.
“Who he just beat tonight and the way that he beat him, he got in there and went right to war with Hooker,” White said backstage after the event. “Stood right in the pocket, didn’t back down, and literally destroyed him, man. It’s unbelievable. He’s ready for anything now. Tonight we found out where that kid’s really at. He’s ready.”