Written by Jay Furness
Denmark BJJ specialist Mads Burnell (9-2) takes on the UK’s Arnold Allen (12-1) at UFC Fight Night 130 in Liverpool this weekend, but the Copenhagen native will not succumb to a partisan crowd as he takes on the up-and-comer in front of thousands of rowdy English fans.
Prior to his UFC call-up, Burnell had done his share of fighting on the road, and he’s clocked up even more miles inside the UFC’s Octagon, so it’s not new to him.
Not only that, but the 24-year-old doesn’t buy into the fact that it will have any impact once the cage door shuts.
“Support doesn’t do shit when you’re standing across from each other,” he asserted, unafraid of going up against a potentially hostile crowd.
Burnell is beginning to find his feet in the UFC, getting the first win under his belt over Mike Santiago in January following a debut defeat in late 2017.
In his third matchup for the company, he’s been given a fighter who comes tipped for the top. UFC analyst Dan Hardy said ealier this week that he believed Allen could be a future world champion.
The betting odds also have Burnell as the underdog, but this doesn’t faze the laidback Dane.
“When I go in there, I’m always the top dog. I don’t care what anybody says.”
Allen, now based out of Montreal, Canada for his camps, alongside the likes of GSP, Rory Macdonald, Robert Whittaker and more, is now 3-0 with the UFC.
Burnell has also moved in elite circles having trained at Xtreme Couture for previous bouts, but this time he’s stayed at his Copenhagen home of Arte Suave to prepare, and he feels confident for the task ahead.
“I see a lot of weaknesses in his game,” he revealed. “I think he’s very athletic, and of course he’s talented, he’s in the UFC, but he’s not that technical.
“He lives off his athletic ability, but he’s very raw and swings wildly. I think I’m way more skilled than him in all aspects of the game.”
Burnell claims it’s “raw versus slick”, and believes that he has the tools to dismantle Allen in front of the Liverpool fans come Sunday night.
Allen will, of course, dispute this, but as we edge closer to fight time, we will get to see whether Burnell’s convictions are correct, as he takes aim at a prospect, hoping to take on that mantle himself on May 27th.