Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway -165 favorite at BetMGM dominated Arnold Allen in a spectacular victory at UFC Kansas City on Saturday. The unanimous decision ended Allen’s 12-fight winning streak in the promotion.
In a recent interview, the “Blessed” fighter discussed his future plans, including possibly moving up to a higher weight class. Holloway acknowledged the challenges of moving up but suggested he could make a move if he wins a belt.
During the post-fight press conference, he expressed uncertainty about his plans to move up but said, “We can talk to the UFC and see if they let it do that.”
Holloway also spoke about his admiration for Allen’s composure and fight IQ, saying he was surprised by his performance in their fight.
“He’s super good. He’s up there, he’s up there,” Holloway said. “I mean, his IQ is super good, man. I thought he’d be a little more inexperienced, but he rang it tonight. He fought five rounds. I thought so he’s going to be way more desperate. But he is super smart.”
Allen: No excuses for Saturday’s loss
Allen made no excuses after his first defeat in the octagon at UFC on ESPN 44. Although the “Almighty” had some excellent moments in the five-round fight, he could not outdo Holloway, who ultimately proved to be the better fighter.
Despite the setback, Allen remained positive and showed remarkable maturity in his first social media statement after the fight, saying, “An honor to share the cage with a legend in @blessedmma I just wasn’t good enough tonight.”
The 29-year-old fighter has yet to provide a detailed explanation of what went wrong during the fight. However, UFC President Dana White was critical of Allen’s corner for letting him down.
As the fight progressed, Allen’s coaches urged him to step up his aggression in the final round, resulting in a flurry of attacks from the Brit. White suggested that with a greater sense of urgency, Allen could have had a better chance of winning.
“I thought he looked good,” White said. “He kept the pace, kept the distance, controlled the tempo of the fight… If he’d have fought the way [he fought] in the fifth round [from] the third round on, he would have had a better chance of winning that fight. I’m not a cornerman or a coach, but I think there should have been a sense of urgency earlier. But I’m not a cornerman.”
Despite the criticism, White acknowledged the pressure Allen was under in his first main event, fighting against Holloway in front of a hostile crowd. He also praised Allen’s talent and toughness, highlighting the fact that he went five rounds with one of the best fighters in the world.
Looking to the future, White urged Allen and his team to analyze their mistakes and come back stronger.
“I don’t know [what’s next for Max Holloway],” White said. “He won tonight and we’ll see where he goes from here.”
Allen now returns to the drawing board as he looks to bounce back from the defeat.