Allen (23-5 MMA, 11-2 UFC) called for a No. 1 contender fight after his third-round submission of Paul Craig in this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 232 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, marking his sixth win in a row.
Allen has gone 8-1 since he lost to Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) by second-round TKO in November 2020, and hopes he gets to rectify that blemish on his record in the near future.
“I hope the UFC sees that and knows that I am the next big thing,” Allen said during the UFC Fight Night 232 post-fight show on ESPN+. “I’ve been in there with Sean. I was a lot younger, I was a lot more immature mentally, and I think I was still winning that fight.
“I just made a bad audible, and I got caught. I’m happy he’s the champion. Congratulations to him. I think he’s a funny guy like he plays the antics, but all that aside, I know in my heart I’m better, and I think he does too, but we’ll see what happens.”
Strickland makes his first title defense against Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the UFC 297 main event Jan. 20 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Allen is not sold on Du Plessis, and thinks he loses to Strickland.
“Dricus is the luckiest guy in the world, but I don’t think he beats Sean,” Allen said. “I think Sean’s that guy, he starts slow and he comes on. Stylistically, I think Sean’s a little too much and a little too experienced for Dricus. Dricus just runs his mouth and he catches guys on bursts.
“But other than (Robert) Whittaker, who has he beat the whole time in a fight? He’s always losing and he comes back, which is great. He can dig deep, he’s good at digging deep. Congrats to him, but I don’t personally think he beats Sean. He definitely doesn’t beat me, so I don’t worry about it.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 232.