Arnold Allen (-350) vs Gilbert Melendez (+265)
Arnold Allen (14-1) may be one of the greatest fighters you haven’t seen before and the odds certainly suggest oddsmakers are taking him against Gilbert Melendez (22-7). Allen will fly under the radar a bit as he has only fought once a year since 2014, but if he does fight, fans are in for a treat.
Allen is someone who lets his game do the talking and he does not tend to be a personality pre- or post-fight, which may hurt when it comes to marketing. He is making an effort to be more active as it is his second battle in 2019. He comes into this bout undefeated in the UFC with a 5-0 record with two functionality of the night awards to his credit.
Gilbert Melendez, 12 years old than the upstart Allen, has been through wars with just about everyone in the UFC. Melendez has without question declined, entering the fight on a losing series. It’s not a good sign when a fighter needs to step away from the sport to find their love for this again. After his final fight, he did just that, but I have very real questions about the motivation of Melendez, that hasn’t won since 2013.
This is going to be the biggest battle of Allen’s career and if he’s got a nice showing, it should vault him to the top 15, eventually. He’s very well versed and has shown an ability to adapt to the fight in front of him.
Interestingly, he’s given away some of his approach already, stating:“I’m ready for anything, I’ve had all sorts of struggles. I’ve been in boring fights where nobody will get hit and you end up winning without getting touched, and I’ve had fights where I’ve been in little brawls, type of grinding struggles, so I will be prepared for whatever he brings. I’m just planning to outpoint himoutskill himand going to be somewhat better than him on the night.“
I agree, and Allen must point-fight his way to a conclusion victory, but he wants not to give in to Melendez, who will desire a kill-or-be-killed firefight.
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