MMA

Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker Official for UFC London

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We announced last week that UFC London will be headlined by Tom Aspinall and Alexander Volkov. Elsewhere on the card, we have a huge featherweight banger just announced which will likely serve as the co-main event. Brit and #7 featherweight, Arnold Allen will welcome former top lightweight contender, Dan Hooker back to the division that he hasn’t competed in since 2016.

Arnold Allen

Arnold Allen is 8-0 in the UFC and has looked fairly flawless throughout his tenure in the big league. With two submission finishes, Allen has gone to decision six times, arguably hindering himself from being a huge star. The fight with Hooker will mark the fourth time that Allen will fight in London for the UFC. Previously he’s bested Yaotzin MezaMakwan Amirkhani and Jordan Rinaldi in the capital. Last time out he notched a unanimous decision victory against Sodiq Yusuff in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 23.

His style lends itself nicely to an elusive, risk-averse style. He holds a takedown defence of 76%, having only been taken down by three of his opponents. He avoids 66% of strikes and absorbs just 2.15 strikes per minute. With that being said, he only lands 2.96 strikes per minute, with an accuracy of just 40%. Allen’s style is to commit to flawless technique over putting himself out there to potentially land a big shot…something that his opponent in London often does.

‘The Hangman’

Dan Hooker announced his return to featherweight following a tough run at 155lbs. After wars with Dustin Poirier and Paul Felder, Hooker welcomed Michael Chandler to the UFC octagon, but unfortunately for ‘The Hangman’, he was knocked out in the first round. He bounced back but then suffered a devastating loss to Islam Mackhachev in the first round at UFC 267.

Hooker has competed at featherweight before, however, the cut became too much for the New Zealander and he moved up in weight. At 145lbs, he has a record of 3-3, facing names including Yair Rodriguez and Jason Knight. Allen is certainly a good opponent to welcome Hooker back to 145lbs because a win over the Brit would place Hooker nicely in the upper echelons of the division.

Hooker’s risk-taking style sees him land 4.90 strikes per minute, with an accuracy of 47%. With that being said, he clearly has a more ‘hit and gets hit’ style, as he absorbs 4.61 strikes per minute, with a defence of 52%.

We could very much see a situation where the cleaner, more technical striking of Arnold Allen has him two rounds ahead of Dan Hooker heading into the final round. This would lead to Hooker taking risks, putting it all out there and providing the fans with a barn-burner. This one is sure to be fireworks!

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Frazer is a 24 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. You can follow Frazer on twitter @Frazer_Krohn

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