UFC featherweight prospect Arnold Allen spoke with Bloody Elbow to discuss his UFC London opponent, training at Tristar, and picks between fellow Brit Bisping and training partner GSP.
The 23 year-old UFC featherweight prospect, Arnold Allen, is set for another home game on Saturday in London, England as he takes on Mr. Finland Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night 107. The Tristar-trained Allen caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his year-long layoff, his training partners out in Canada, and picks between countrymen Michael Bisping and training partner Geroges St. Pierre.
It has been just over a year since we last saw you in the Octagon; what was the reason for layoff?
“I was booked to fight earlier in the year, I think October, but I was messed up. I was all ill. I was sick, and I was out of the gym. I had to take some time to get healthy. Other than that, I was preparing for a fight at Tristar for a long time. So, other than the time I was sick, I was making big improvements.”
At 21 years-old, and on 7-days notice notice, you stopped your own UFC debut against Alan Omer by releasing the Guillotine choke before the referee could see the tap:
“That was a mistake on my half, to be fair. I shouldn’t have, I have shouldn’t have let go, but I felt the tap, I was so excited.”
A strong sophomore showing against Yaotzin Meza at UFC Fight Night 84:
“That was the most comfortable I’ve felt in any fight I’ve had. It was my first camp at Tristar, and I felt so confident, like with my team, the advice they were giving me. The preparation, it was perfect. Honestly, I felt like I could have pushed the pace, and stopped it whenever I wanted, but I was happy. I was having fun, you know?”
You hurt Meza in the closing moments of round 3; should it have been ruled a KO finish instead of a unanimous decision?
“I thought it was; I mean I jumped on top of the cage and everything. I thought, how embarrassing, I jumped on top of the cage for a decision win. Ah man, but it is what it is.”
Your father, he was a fighter as well?
“Yeah, he had a few fights, like some crazy fights out there on YouTube. Insane. Insane. Some brawls, haha.”
Training camp at Tristar:
“I’m at Tristar now, for not just my camps. I’m here a bit more than my camps. I spent most of last year, I spent most of 2016 here. Really, I went home when I was sick, and I spent about 3 months back home getting healthy. So most of my time is here.”
“It’s been really good. I don’t want to jinx myself, so I’m going to touch wood, knock-knock, but no injuries so far. Like, everything’s really good. My weight, I’ve been able to keep out of the Dunkin’ Doughnuts and all that, haha. The weight’s good. I’m not fat, so we’re on track for an easy cut, by the looks of things.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of rounds with southpaw guys here. Luis Sandusky is one of the guys. He’s not known yet, but he should be real soon… I’ve been doing a lot of rounds with Olivier Aubin-Mercier. He’s a big lightweight, but he’s a strong guy shooting in and wrestling, and a hard pace for some hard punches and kicks. So yeah, there’s a lot of southpaws out here. There’s too many to name, the guys I’ve been working for this. It’s great though. It’s great having these southpaws in the camp; not many camps have a lot of southpaws.”
A diligent, southpaw lead hook:
“I just got used to using the lead hook a lot. I had a bit of success with it when I was boxing as like, a teenager, as a kid. I’d throw it a lot, so it worked.”
“Man, it’s crazy. Right now it’s +10, and for Saturday it’s -13. I just can’t get used to it. I’m just like, do I need a big coat? Do I need a little coat?”
Thoughts on facing fellow prospect Makwan Amirkhani at UFC London:
“Yeah, he’s good. He’s got skills, obviously. His record speaks for itself. He’s got wins. What is he, 3-0 in the UFC? He comes from a top camp, too, so I’m excited for the challenge, or test. So, it’s going to be good, going to be fun.”
You’re from London, England but are training at Tristar in Canada. Michael Bisping or Georges St. Pierre, who takes ?
“Well, you don’t ever go against your countrymen, and I don’t want to get bashed for all this, but all I’m going to say is, Bisping has never bought me lunch. GSP has taken me to some expensive restaurants for lunch, and until Bisping takes me out to lunch, maybe I’ll be on his side, haha. GSP has taken me to some nice restaurants and bought me lunch, I’m going to have to go with GSP, haha.”
Watch Tristar young gun Arnold Allen tangle with Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Night 107 in London, England this Saturday night. The Exclusive Fight Pass Prelims begin at 1:30 P.M. ET and will spill over into the main card at 5:00 P.M. ET, all on UFC Fight Pass. Stay Tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!