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‘It’s just not meant to be’ - Arnold Allen reveals why he turned down UFC 286 co-main event slot

Hopefully Allen has a speedy recovery. 

Arnold Allen at UFC London in March 2022.
Arnold Allen at UFC London in March 2022.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Arnold Allen has suffered a rib injury that nixed a potential return to the Octagon in early 2023.

In a video uploaded to his official YouTube channel, Allen revealed that he had to reject an offer to serve as the co-main of UFC 286, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for March 18 at the O2 Arena in London.

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

The opponent Allen was offered was not revealed, but it was reportedly former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway. After losing out on an interim title fight, ‘Almighty’ set his sights on ‘Blessed’ instead.

According to Allen, a win over Holloway would be a ‘bigger statement,’ especially if it could lead to his first UFC championship opportunity.

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

“It is what it is,” continued Allen. “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.”

Allen is now 10-0 in the UFC, with his most recent wins coming against Dan Hooker and Calvin Kattar at UFC London and UFC Vegas 63, respectively.

About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)