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Arnold Allen in ‘no rush’ following biggest career win over Gilbert Melendez

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Arnold Allen recorded the biggest win of his young career in the feature bout of the UFC 239 preliminary card, outclassing former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez over three rounds.

The win saw the British 25-year-old improve to 6-0 with the UFC, but “Almighty” admitted that he was in no rush to watch it back speaking a day after his most impressive career display.

“I watched it a bit this morning, well, I kind of watched I didn’t really get to watch properly. I want to properly analyze it because I’m always critiquing myself when I watch them, so I won’t really enjoy it,” Allen told Eurobash.

Allen put on a fantastic striking display, catching the famously durable Melendez on the end of his cross on multiple occasions while also targeting the veteran’s body over the 15 minutes. Despite the striking showcase he put on, Allen insisted the he was most impressed by his ability to take Melendez down.

“I was happy that I scored a takedown to show that I can wrestle with the big boys, so I was happy with that. The striking went pretty much how I expected it to go. We know the way [Melendez] fights, he can be a little bit heavy on his feet and he throws wild, so I knew he would be a bit slow. It was everything I expected [in the striking exchanges], but I was really happy to score a takedown.”

Immediately after his hand was raised, Allen made sure he thanked “El Nino” for sharing the cage with him.

“I just told him it was an honor to share the cage with him and that he was a legend, that was all. And he is a legend.”

Allen agrees that Melendez is his most significant career scalp to date.

“Everything is bigger over this side of the pond, there are a lot more eyes on it. Back home it’s big, but it’s not quite the same over there yet. So, yeah, this one feels big.”

The British prospect is adamant that he will take lifelong coach Jack Mason’s advice of not rushing things despite the surging start to his UFC tenure.

“[I’m targeting] the end of the year [not my next fight],” he said. “I’ve got a few little injuries; my hand is a little bit fat and my shin is a little bit swollen, but I don’t think it’s going to be too sore for too long. [A fight at] the end of the year would be nice. Jack [Mason] is always telling me that there’s no rush. He is constantly affirming that I’m 25, that I don’t have to rush and I should take my time to get better, so I just listen to him.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Arnold Allen interview begins at 14:00.

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