Arnold Allen, a featherweight fighter from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, had a different opponent in mind for his next fight. He would have preferred a more well-known name than the undefeated Movsar Evloev. But hey, that’s life, right?
Allen’s got a score to settle, you see. He’s looking to rebound from his first UFC loss, a defeat at the hands of Max Holloway. His next chance to redeem himself? A face-off with Evloev at UFC 297. This showdown is set to take place on January 20 in Toronto.
Originally, Allen had his sights set on Brian Ortega. But the fates had other plans. Ortega was booked for a rematch against Yair Rodriguez at UFC Mexico. A bit of a letdown for Allen, who had hoped for a more high-profile opponent. Still, he reckons Evloev is underrated and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Allen spilled the beans in an interview with Violent Money TV. “He’s very highly touted,” he said. “I think there were some easier fights with higher-ranked guys. We were asking straight up for Ortega after the Holloway fight – the bigger name, the bigger fight – and obviously he was out for a while.”
Allen continued, “Then I think they just want to make him and Yair rematch down the line. There’s some easier matchups and higher-ranked guys, but I think [Evloev is] a very credible opponent.” He even questioned the rankings, suggesting that if you look at the official Fight Matrix rankings, Evloev ranks much higher than in the UFC ones.
But Allen isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. He believes that defeating a tough up-and-comer is better than beating a top-ranked opponent on a slump. “It’s a tough test,” he admitted. “And I think beating an undefeated guy and taking his hype and taking his undefeated record away, that’s a lot bigger than beating a No. 3 guy that’s on a skid or something.”