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Arnold Allen plans on sending message to top-5 with win over Sodiq Yusuff at UFC Vegas 23

After nearly 15 months on the sidelines, Arnold Allen is ready to pick up right where he left off in the UFC’s featherweight division.

Allen will face current surging top-15 contender Sodiq Yusuff on Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 23 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The 145-pound matchup airs on ABC.

“Almighty” enters the contest on an impressive nine-fight winning streak, which includes a perfect 7-0 start to his UFC career, which is currently the second longest promotional winning streak in the featherweight division behind champion Alexander Volkanovski. Allen was slated to face Josh Emmett in his most recent appearance in January 2020 before an injury to Emmett led to Nik Lentz stepping in. Allen won the bout via unanimous decision.

The 27-year-old was set to take on Jeremy Stephens in November at UFC Vegas 13 before an injury to the ranked opponent delayed his return. While other names were were brought to his attention, Allen was willing to wait until another opportunity at a ranked opponent arose, which brought him to Saturday night’s bout with Yusuff.

In an exclusive interview with MMA Fighting, Allen joined Mike Heck from Las Vegas to discuss the matchup, finally getting back in the octagon after the long layoff, being patient with his process, the style matchup with Yusuff, wanting to send a message to the top-five at 145, and more.