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Arnold Allen refutes Israel Adesanya’s reaction to Dan Hooker stoppage: ‘I think it was the right call’

Arnold Allen has no doubts about the quality of his stoppage win over Dan Hooker.

This past Saturday at UFC London, Allen turned in the best performance of his UFC career, stopping Hooker with strikes just 2 minutes and 33 seconds into the first round. The stoppage came with a small amount of controversy however, as though Hooker was clearly hurt, Allen never actually dropped “The Hangman,” finishing the fight with punches and elbows while Hooker covered up along the fence. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, a teammate of Hooker’s, was particularly upset, saying during his live reaction to UFC London that the stoppage was premature. Allen, however, disagrees.

“I think it was the right call,” Allen told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I can’t really see how Izzy can think that was early. The man himself didn’t complain, so that’s the biggest tell for me. All that’s gonna happen in that position, where he’s sort of curled up, is more shots landed, so I don’t know what’s Izzy’s thinking.”

Early or not, Allen got the win, his ninth in a row since joining the UFC in 2015, and now sits on the cusp of title contention in the UFC’s stacked 145-pound division. The main reason Allen isn’t already there with a nine-fight winning streak is struggles with activity. Allen has only fought twice in a year once since signing with the UFC, and while the 28-year old wishes he had been able to be more active thus far, he also notes that his slower schedule has probably helped him in the long run.

“It seems to be working,” Allen said, when asked about fighting only once a year. “It seems to be going well. Before I fought for the UFC I fought, I think one year within 12 months I fought six times. So I do like being active but it seems to be working out. When I signed I was probably out of my depth a little bit, so having that slow progression and being forced to slow my roll a little bit kind of worked out well. But I feel like my skills are now up there with the elite guys.”

Allen should get a chance to prove that theory soon, and break out of his one-fight-a-year mold. Following the win, “Almighty” called for a fight with the UFC’s fifth-ranked featherweight, Calvin Kattar, hopefully later on this year.

“Someone was saying June but June’s definitely too soon for me, to be honest,” Allen said. “August? This year. Let’s start small. [Laughs]. This year. The weird thing is, obviously I haven’t been the most active, but now being in that top-five talk, those guys tend to fight once, twice a year.... But obviously, I’m gonna fight this year. I’ve got a couple little boo-boos on my hand but it shouldn’t be as bad as last time, hopefully.”