UFC Featherweight Star Arnold Allen Has Strong Reaction: ‘I’m Not Proud’

Arnold Allen

Getty Arnold Allen

Top-ranked UFC featherweight Arnold Allen put on a valiant effort against ex-champion Max Holloway, but the Englishman is “not proud” of his Octagon performance.

“Almighty” (19-2) looked to extend his win streak to 13 while solidifying himself as the division’s next title contender by besting Holloway during the UFC on ESPN 44 main event on April 15. But after five rounds of action, “Blessed” earned the judges’ nod via unanimous decision (49–46, 49–46, 48–47).

Allen appeared on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” on Monday and he admitted that the judges got it right. But after rewatching the match, Almighty said the contest was a lot closer than he thought it was after the final round ended on fight night.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought,” Allen said. “I didn’t feel like the winner after and I don’t now but it’s not as bad as I thought. A lot of people said I should be proud ‘oh he did five rounds and pushed the pace on Max.’ I’m not proud of myself. I expect a lot more from myself.

“He is who he is and he’s one of the best if not the best guy in the division of all time. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer, he’s great but that doesn’t make me feel any better because I expect more out of myself. It’s a little more frustrating because I know I could have done better. I should have done better.”

So, don’t expect Allen to walk around feeling like he earned a “moral victory” by taking rounds from Holloway. “There’s no victory,” Almighty continued. “I got half my pay, I lost my winning streak, I missed out on a title shot. There’s no moral victory.”

Allen Is Open to Rematching the ‘Legend,’ Holloway, Down the Line

Allen is still ranked within the top five of featherweight — one of the promotion’s deepest divisions. He sits at No. 4 and the fighter is champing at the bit to right the wrong of his last outing. With wins over names like Calvin Kattar and Dan Hooker, Allen is still on the shortlist for title contention.

And he’s also not that far off from potentially rematching Holloway one day.

“It’s a positive in a way because I know I can do so much better,” Allen said. “He’s the five round cardio king. The first five rounder I’ve done, it was no problem. Preparation could have been better, maybe a bit smarter, a bit fitter. Body could have held up better in certain things but no excuses but things could have been better.

“There’s better to come. He said it after, maybe we’ll fight again. Max is a cool guy. He’s a legend.”

Allen Expected Holloway to Utilize Much More Forward Movement

Holloway is a fighter known for his relentless pressure and volume striking, and he holds to UFC’s all-time record for most significant strikes landed with 3,122.

So, it’s not a surprise to hear that Allen’s focus in training camp was to deal with Blessed’s attack. However, Holloway took a much more even-keel approach to the fight, which Almighty didn’t anticipate.

“The whole camp was based on someone coming forward with pressure and the first sort of exchange, he came out and backed up and stopped moving,” Allen explained. “It’s like huh, that’s not what we prepared for, in that sense.

“The only thing that surprised me is he just didn’t pressure so much. The whole game was the counter him coming forward and I was the one coming forward chasing him. Very good game plan by them. I don’t know if it’s lessons to learn. Things could be better.”

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