UFC featherweight contender Arnold Allen has given his take on whether or not it’s harder for UK fighters to earn title shots on MMA’s biggest stage.
This past weekend at UFC London, Allen, who had already shown his talents and credentials as part of the 145-pound elite, well and truly cemented his status as a member of the title conversation by decimating promotional veteran Dan Hooker inside one round.
With the win, which came in front of his home crowd in London’s O2 Arena, “Almighty” Allen extended his unblemished UFC record to 9-0 and added the established name of “The Hangman” to his résumé.
But despite his perfect rise to contention and victories over Nik Lentz and Sodiq Yusuff, until UFC London, Allen’s place among the featherweight elite wasn’t discussed at length.
Prior to their clash, Hooker even admitted he was fighting the Englishman for his ranking and momentum, rather than any name value.
Arnold Allen Explains Reason For Lack Of Push
At Saturday’s post-fight press conference, Allen was asked if he thinks it’s harder for UK fighters to break into the championship picture and, if so, why that is. The Ipswich native responded by suggesting the issue is reserved for those Brits without a “funny accent.”
“If you got a funny accent, you’ll get pushed,” said Allen. “If you talk like a Suffolk farmer like me, you won’t get pushed.”
When asked if he had any of his fellow UK fighters in mind when making the comment, Allen replied, “No one.” Nevertheless, fans will undoubtedly link the remark to another of the weekend’s victorious main card Englishmen, Paddy Pimblett.
Since arriving in the UFC last year, “The Baddy” has seen his popularity rise thanks to his brash persona and confidence, something that likely garners more attention due to his strong Liverpudlian accent.
Despite only appearing in the Octagon once prior to UFC London, Pimblett found himself just one spot below Allen’s co-main fight on the card.
After the event, which saw Pimblett record his second UFC triumph over the unranked Kazula Vargas, Dana White even suggested the former Cage Warriors champion could already headline a Fight Night due to the numbers he pulls on social media.
Allen, meanwhile, is yet to experience the main event spotlight in his nine Octagon outings. That, however, may well be about to change following his latest success.
In his post-fight interview, the Ipswich native called out top-five featherweight Calvin Kattar. If that fight comes to fruition, it stands to reason the pair will collide in the top spot of a UFC Fight Night.
What do you make of Arnold Allen’s assessment?