Arnold Allen returns from a year’s layoff at UFC Vegas 23 this Saturday, but quite frankly, it wasn’t his fault. And because of his absence, he has been forgotten by some. Despite remaining undefeated in the UFC, and 16-1 overall.
Allen got his seventh UFC win last January against Nik Lentz, and after that, it was looking for fights that never materialized. “Almighty” was scheduled to face long-time UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens on November 7, 2020, but Stephens had to pull out, citing an undisclosed injury.
When Sodiq Yussuf was offered, Allen was surprised, and accepted.
“I was a bit surprised. Obviously, I was supposed to fight Stephens, and I was expecting another veteran like that, you know – something like that or Stephens [himself],” Allen said during the UFC Vegas 23 Media day this week. “Nothing was happening, and then we got offered Sodiq, and I was like, ‘you know what?’ Yeah, that’s a perfect match-up.’”
Allen and Yussuf get co-main event treatment on the second ABC card, which is very important. The event is airing early to allow European viewers to catch some of their countrymen in action. Italy’s Marvin Vettori tops the card, Darren Till was supposed to face him, but pulled out due to a broken collarbone. Allen will instead fly the flag for England, and is looking to prove that he is one of the hot prospects to watch.
“We’ve gotta go out and prove ourselves,” Allen said. “Two hot prospects, and it’s kind of winner-takes-all, you know? We want to go out and prove we deserve to be amongst that top 10.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 23 media day appearance by Arnold Allen above. The event takes place this Saturday, April 10 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on ABC, kicking off early at 3PM ET following the prelims.