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Arnold Allen reveals injury prevented him from accepting UFC 286 co-main event slot: ‘It has been the story of my life’

UFC Fight Night: Kattar v Allen Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Arnold Allen will once again miss out on a potentially big opportunity for his career.

The 28-year-old featherweight contender from England revealed in a video posted to his YouTube page that he was offered the co-main event slot at the upcoming UFC 286 card scheduled in London on March 18. Unfortunately, Allen was dealing with an injury that left him unable to train and he was ultimately forced to decline the offer from the UFC.

“I was offered the co-main event but unfortunately I popped a rib out the other week and haven’t been in training for a few weeks,” Allen said. “It’s pretty frustrating. It’s not cool.”

Allen didn’t reveal the opponent he was offered, although he had previously mentioned ex-featherweight champion Max Holloway as an ideal fight to help him potentially secure a future title shot.

He had already missed out on an interim title fight that was booked for UFC 284 in Australia when the organization booked Josh Emmett against Yair Rodriguez for the co-main event in February.

“It was the fight everyone was expecting and the fight I wanted but I don’t even know the timeline [to fight again],” Allen said. “It will be a few weeks before I can start training again anyway. Too late to get into camp for that.”

With a perfect 10-0 record in the UFC, Allen has made a steady climb up the ranks at 145 pounds but sadly his career has often been derailed by injuries that have kept him sidelined for significant stretches of time.

He fought twice in 2022 with wins over Dan Hooker and Calvin Kattar but that was only the second occasion in his entire UFC career that he’s competed two times in the same calendar year since signing with the promotion in 2015.

“It is what it is,” Allen said. It has been the story of my life. “It has always sort of worked out for the best so we’re just going to keep that positive mindset, hopefully get back in the gym as soon as I can.

“I’m confident it’s going to lead to bigger things. It’s just not meant to be. That’s the way it is. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

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