A win at UFC 297 this weekend might put England’s Arnold Allen on a collision course with Australia’s featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski.
However first, each males should overcome intriguing challenges within the type of quickly rising upstarts within the 145-pound ranks.
Allen, ranked third within the division takes on ninth ranked Movsar Evloev in Toronto this weekend, with Volkanovski defending his title in opposition to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 subsequent month.
Beginning this weekend, Main Event on Kayo Sports and Foxtel will be the exclusive home of UFC Pay-Per-View events in Australia.
However Arnold wonders if Volkanovski is speeding into the Topuria combat too rapidly following his knockout loss to Islam Makhachev in October.
“He often appears to be very clever together with his strategy – and I suppose it’s straightforward to say for me as a result of I haven’t been supplied the form of cash and all of the incentives he was supplied for that final combat – nevertheless it appeared a bit off-script for him,” Allen instructed this masthead.
“It appeared like one thing he wouldn’t do.
“A really calculated, sensible fighter doing that? Now, on the again of it, on the again of a knockout loss straight into one other coaching camp?
“Once more, it was one other miscalculation in my view. I hope he’s recovered from that and his coaching camp has been nice, as a result of it might be a disgrace to see an excellent tarnish his legacy due to a few missteps.”
Within the aftermath of the Makhachev loss, Volkanovski revealed he had been dealing with some mental health issues.
Allen applauded the Aussie’s transfer, and genuinely wished his potential future rival a speedy restoration.
“He’s probably the greatest featherweights of all time, however he got here out and spoke about his personal troubles,” he mentioned. “In my thoughts, I’m like, ‘He’s accomplished every part I need to obtain after which some and he has the world at his toes’.
“However he’s a human, and I simply hope that that isn’t what’s pushing these choices to remain so lively and maintain his thoughts off no matter’s bothering him. I need to see the most effective model of him.”
First although, Allen should take care of 29-year-old Evloev, who’s 17-0 as knowledgeable and 9-0 within the UFC.
Regardless of the distinction of their rankings, Allen believes an excellent win will see him again in title competition following his choice defeat to Max Holloway in April.
“It’s good timing for him, he’s undefeated and he’s on a tear,” Allen mentioned. “It’s good although, as a result of I keep in mind after I was in that place, fighters above me needed to guard their spot.
“They didn’t need to combat.
“However, there’s simpler fights up the rankings, so a win places me again within the title image once more and amoungst the elite of the division once more.”
Allen doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Countrymen Leon Edwards and Tom Aspinall each at the moment personal UFC gold, and the 29-year-old desperately desires to affix them.
“When Leon received the title, I used to be coaching with him and was round him, and being a part of these camps and seeing the work ethic, that was actually inspirational,” he mentioned. “Then with Tom, he’s much like me and had his dad in his nook.
“When he received the title, he gave the belt to his dad.
“That’s precisely what I need to do – give the belt to my dad. He in all probability received’t know what to do with it, however that’s the second I would like and that’s the second I’ve visualised for myself and my dad.”