Great Britain

UFC star Arnold Allen ready to become new face of MMA in UK by cracking America after Michael Bisping retirement

ARNOLD ALLEN is ready to build on becoming the new face of MMA in the UK - by cracking America.

The Suffolk bantamweight extended his UFC winning streak to seven after outpointing Nik Lentz in North Carolina, taking his record to 16-1.

It was the 26-year-old’s second consecutive Stateside win, having beaten cage legend Gilbert Melendez last July on the undercard of Jon Jones’ win against Thaigo Santos in Las Vegas.

Due to some legal problems the promising Brit struggled to maintain a visa to fight in America.

But after back-to-back US wins in style, the ex-amateur boxer is ready to take the throne vacated by ex-UFC champion Michael Bisping as the sport’s biggest star in the UK.

And he vows to do it with his performances rather than trash-talk on social media.

Allen told SunSport: “The sport’s home is in America, the fans and followers are in America and if I want to build my name I need to be fighting there.

“It’s the same in boxing, everyone except other Joshua, everyone gets their big fight in the States.

“That’s their first big, big test and I feel making it out there is vital.

“I've got a pretty well rounded style, the only thing is I’m pretty awkward when it comes to social media.”

Allen - trained by Georges St-Pierre's ex-coach Firas Zahabi in Canada - is ranked No15 in the UFC’s 145lb division, with Alexander Volkanovski recently dethroning long-standing champion Max Holloway for the belt.

But with a host of names, including Jose Aldo, Jeremy Stevens, Frankie Edgar, Yair Rodriquez and Brian Ortega all taking spots above Allen, the southpaw is not short of options.

Having already outclassed Melendez on points last year, the 26-year-old is full of confidence, ready to take on anyone for the chance to become only the second British UFC champion.

Allen added: “I’m not sure who is next, all I care about is who’s got the title.

“Beating Melendez gave me a lot of confidence going forward, believing in myself and taking out a guy by decision.

“I always knew I could be at that level, but actually going in there and proving it is a big confidence booster.”

Daniel Cormier works out at UFC training camp