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John Allan has experienced some professional ups and downs in the last few years to say the least, from the win streak that drew the attention Dana White's Contender Series, to his loss on the show, the 11th-hour call up to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and seeing his first Octagon win erased by a failed PED test. Through it all, the 28-year-old light heavyweight remains positive. Ahead of his UFC 268 matchup with short-notice opponent Dustin Jacoby, Allan spoke to Sherdog about his recent career arc, about representing Chute Boxe, and about the weather phenomenon he hopes to see for the first time in New York this week.
You went from a four-fight win streak, to a loss, to a win, to a UFC contract. Now you’re booked for your third fight in the promotion. Can you talk about your career as of late?
“On that four-fight winning streak, they were all victories over very good opponents. It was a period of evolution for me. I was feeling great. And that’s when the opportunity came up, to fight on Dana White's Contender Series. Unfortunately, it was a loss. But I had a good fight. Even in a loss, I was able to show the UFC how good a fighter I am. They liked what they saw. After that, I was supposed to face Acacio dos Santos on two occasions, but both bookings were canceled. I ended up not fighting for nearly one year. I finally fought on the Future FC 6 card, and knocked out a previously undefeated opponent Alexandre Silva.
“One day after that, I received an offer from the UFC, with 15 days’ notice. I accepted. There was no way I wouldn’t accept. I had an excellent fight and defeated Mike Rodriguez by decision. It was a good debut. But unfortunately, due to an issue with USADA, since we didn’t know what the rules would be, I was punished. I took over one year for me to fight again. I was excited to get booked against veteran Ed Herman after my suspension. Ten days before that fight, I had visa problems. I found out that my travel visa wouldn’t be ready in time. In the end, I fought Roman Dolidze, from the country of Georgia. He’s really tough. Sadly, I lost by split decision. I was caught in an ankle lock during the first round. It tore up my knee – ACL and meniscus. I did all three rounds with a blown knee. I didn’t do all I wanted to, but I was able to show that I have good potential within the promotion. In January, I had knee surgery and now I’m in the best possible shape. I’m looking forward to fighting in one of the biggest cards of the year.”
How was your training camp?
“This training camp was very well structured. I’ve been with the same team since my first amateur bout – Chute Boxe. It’s one of the greatest striking and MMA academies in the world. I train under Master Edicarlos “Monstro” Goncalves, alongside my training partner, Jennifer Maia. My other coaches are Diego Roberto, and Felipe Combate. We brought in several more guys to help me get ready, like striking coach Jonatan Maloqueiro. I’ve worked on every facet for this fight. I will try to show everything I haven’t shown yet in the UFC. I’ll show why I’m deserving of my contract. I expect to have one of the best performances of my life.”
You’re coming from Brazil but this bout will be in the New York winter. Are you ready for the cold?
“I’m looking forward to fighting in New York. It’s a great opportunity at a great event. I’ve been to New York in 2019, to see Jennifer Maia fight. I’m used to cold weather, since I’m from the south of Brazil, from Curitiba. It doesn’t snow here, but the cold is intense, often below freezing. I’d love to see snow in New York. I’ve never seen snow in person.”
Plans for the future?
“I want to fight as quickly as possible after this one, hopefully this year. I don’t choose my opponents. Whatever is offered to me, I’ll take it. As long my opponent makes weight, and I get paid, I’ll face anyone, any day, at any place, at any time. My plan is to win and to get a new fight as quickly as possible. My goal is to also represent Chute Boxe – the world’s greatest striking academy.”