Arnold Allen must break Max Holloway.
UFC Kansas City goes down on April 15, 2023, and will see the 29-year-old Allen (19-1) attempt to get his biggest victory to date. “Almighty” will have to fend off the rebounding former Featherweight champion, Holloway, who last fought in July 2022, suffering a third career loss to current titlist, Alexander Volkanovski (watch highlights).
Holloway has seemingly only gotten better with age, but that narrative changed in his Volkanovski trilogy. Regardless, Hawaii’s finest is still touted as one of the most-feared fighters on the planet and what has made Holloway so fun throughout his career is his willingness to put on a show. For Allen, the Brit thinks it could end up costing “Blessed” in their collision.
“He’s Max Holloway, he’s great,” Allen told Morning Kombat. “His mileage is gonna catch up. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you have 20 fights, when every fight is a back-and-forth 50-50 war ... Even when he’s been very dominant, he’s taken a lot of shots. The miles have got to add up.
“His skills are great, his skills are good, but it’s not that that [cause] trouble,” he added. “The mental warfare he’s good at in the cage. Not even outside because he’s not like [Conor] McGregor [who] would break people down before like he did to [Jose] Aldo. He seems to do that in the cage. He does all his talking there, riles you up, and gets you sort of off your gameplan, and gets you frustrated. I think that’s what he’s good at. Not necessarily his skillset, it’s his mental warfare and his toughness as well, obviously.”
Before Holloway’s last loss to Volkanovski, he put on arguably his best career performances, defeating Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez in one-sided fashion en route to unanimous decisions. Rodriguez has since gone on to become the interim Featherweight champion at UFC 284, submitting Josh Emmett with a second-round triangle choke (watch highlights).
Despite missing out on the interim bout himself, Allen isn’t too shaken up about how things turned out.
“When they announced Yair Rodriguez fighting Josh Emmett, the only thing that would be better than not getting an interim fight was to fight Max Holloway — to beat Max Holloway,” Allen said. “Obviously, Max beat Yair in the last one so, he for me is a more credible spot than beating Yair.”