Arnold Allen was understandably surprised when he was passed up for a UFC interim featherweight title fight this February at UFC 284.
With reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski moving up to the 155-pound division to take on newly crowned lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev, the UFC announced that No. 2 ranked contender Yair Rodriguez will take on No. 5 ranked Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight championship when the promotion heads to Perth, Australia in the new year.
Like many fans, Allen was confused by being left out of the interim title fight given his 10-fight win streak, particularly his second-round TKO over No. 7 ranked Calvin Kattar just a few weeks ago.
“I was a little bit surprised,” Allen said on ‘Abz Talks.’ I thought I was in just with the win streak on its own. I know the last fight wasn’t ideal, but I thought when you put the nine-fight winning streak without the last one, that was more than worthy than either of what those guys have done at the minute.
“My whole career has kind of been like this. It’s a blessing in disguise and my goal is never to be interim champion. I want to be the champion, so it would have been nice to be a part of that. But yeah – always work for something better.”
BREAKING: Yair Rodriguez will face Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight belt in #UFC284 Perth, Australia
— Carlos Contreras Legaspi 🦁 (@CCLegaspi) November 13, 2022
After Being Left Out of Interim Title Fight, Arnold Allen Wants Fight with Max Holloway
With Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett fighting for the interim world title in February, Arnold Allen will need an opponent for his next outing inside the Octagon and the man everyone is pointing to is No. 1 ranked contender Max Holloway.
“A lot of people are saying Max is the fight to make,” Allen said. “That would be a fun one. I don’t see why not. And also, I think a win over him would be a bigger statement, and then you throw your interim in the bin, right?” h/t Yahoo.com
Holloway is coming off of his third loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 276. Despite the losses, ‘Blessed’ has remained as the No. 1 ranked contender thanks to his impressive wins over top stars including Brian Ortega, Calvin Kattar, and Yair Rodriguez. If Arnold Allen can score a win over Holloway, his bid for a UFC title opportunity would be undeniable.