Arnold Allen is looking to bounce right back into Featherweight title contention ... and he wants to do it against Brian Ortega.
Allen had his impressive 12-fight win streak (10 in UFC) snapped by Max Holloway back in mid-April, shattering any hope he had of securing a title shot against 145-pound champion, Alexander Volkanovski. While “Almighty” hasn’t been the most active fighter in the division over the past several years, he wants to change that with a relatively quick turnaround against the dynamic Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert “T-City.”
“That’s probably the matchup that makes the most sense,” Allen said in an interview with Sky Sports (via MMA Junkie). “We’re both in the same position. We’re looking for redemption. He’s had his title shot. I’m still trying to earn mine. That’s the guy to put me right back in there. A win there, 100 percent we’ll be back in that title talk.
“He’s fantastic — he’s a great competitor,” Allen added. “Really good jiu-jitsu, he’s showing some really good knockout power, he has out-struck some great strikers, as well, so he’s not just the one-trick pony. I’m sure he’s gonna come back better than ever off this injury.
“He’s looking to rebound and earn himself a title shot again,” Allen continued. “I’m looking to rebound. It would be a great fight. I think that’s a headliner for sure.”
Ortega’s last fight was a disappointingly short bout against Yair Rodriguez that saw him suffer a shoulder injury four minutes into the first round. It’s been nine months since then, and we’re hopeful the former title challenger will return in the next three- to six-months.
The last time we heard from Ortega was at the end of the March, when he responded to a callout from Ilia Topuria.
“I’m not even able to fight,” Ortega said in an interview with The Schmo. “Let me get back on my s—, let me get back to training, and then I’ll gladly humble someone if I have to.”
Ortega is 1-3 over his last four, but those defeats came to the aforementioned Holloway and Volkanovski before the aforementioned injury loss to Rodriguez. Those are the three top dogs at 145 pounds, so just keep in mind that not all losses are created equal.