Arnold Allen knew the day would come when he’d be in a position to headline a UFC card, and that day finally arrives this Saturday.
Allen (18-1) sits on an 11-fight win streak as he enters UFC Vegas 63, where he’ll take on Calvin Kattar in his biggest fight to date. Allen’s belief in himself never wavered, even through bouts with injury and inactivity.
“I always believed it was going to happen. Even when I’m not competing, if I’ve got a broken hand or whatever, I’m in the gym training,” he said during this week’s media day. “I’m practicing the jab or just throwing kicks if I’ve got no hands to use. So I’m always prepping, I’m always trying to get better. I’m watching the division, and seeing what’s going on. Just staying positive and doing what I can.”
In Kattar, Allen gets a dangerous, battle-tested foe who is coming off a split decision loss to Josh Emmett. He looked dangerous in that fight, and even in Kattar’s lopsided loss to Max Holloway, Allen saw that never-back-down attitude.
“He’s dangerous in every fight. There’s no quit in him,” Allen observed. “Even when he got battered by Max Holloway, he was still trying to find a win the whole way through. There’s a big argument people could have thrown the towel in, but he never quit, he was trying to win the whole way through it. Fair play, he’s as tough as they come.”
Given Allen’s hot streak, there’s a feeling that a big win Saturday could throw his name in the hat for next crack at the 145lb title. Of course, Alexander Volkanovski, the current featherweight champ, has his sights set on lightweight gold. Either way, Allen is game for whatever comes.
“Definitely. I mean, throw an interim belt on it, why not?”
He has no concerns, meanwhile, over the champ pursuing a second belt. “Volkanovski can do whatever he wants,” said Allen. “He’s a great champion, and he’s leading the way. Going up in weight, he’s dominated the division so far. He can do whatever he wants.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 63 media day scrum with Arnold Allen above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.