UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was looking for a clear No. 1 contender to emerge at UFC Vegas 63 this past Saturday. Unfortunately for the ‘Great,’ the title picture remains as murky as ever after the result of Calvin Kattar vs. Arnold Allen.
Hoping to continue his momentum after his first-round TKO of Dan Hooker at UFC London in March, Allen was paired against his first top-five opponent in Kattar. In his first UFC headliner, ‘Almighty’ got the win, but it came after the ‘Boston Finisher’ injured himself near the end of the first round. Kattar went for a flying knee, only to land awkwardly and tweak his knee.
Though he was cleared to continue by the cageside physician, Kattar went down for good in the second round. Allen threw a kick to his left leg, and when Kattar tried to put weight on his right leg, it gave out completely.
During his post-fight press conference, Allen was a bit frustrated with the way he got the win since it was by way of injury, similar to what happened in another title eliminator between Yair Rodríguez and Brian Ortega earlier this year.
“Obviously there was the injury with Yair and Brian,” said Allen (video provided by MMA Junkie). “And then Calvin vs. [Josh] Emmett, it was a real close decision. I wanted the performance to stand out, so I could actually ask [for a title shot] like, ‘Look, this deserves it more than that and that.’ But now I’m in the same boat. We might as well just all hang out together and talk about it.”
With no clear No. 1 contender and Volkanovski shifting his focus to newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the meantime, a potential interim featherweight title could be created. If it is, Allen would prefer to be involved. As for an opponent, the No. 6 contender has no preference.
“I don’t have an opinion on it,” said Allen. “Like I said, everyone’s getting dodgy wins and weird things. It’s hard to say who deserves it. I don’t know, whoever.”
With the win over Kattar, Allen improved to 10-0 in the UFC.
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