Paul Craig


Facing Jamahal Hill in March
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 15, 2021
Craig will fight Jamahal Hill in a light heavyweight bout at a UFC event March 20, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
Craig beat Mauricio Rua via TKO in November and is 3-0-1 in his last four fights after starting off his UFC career with a 3-4 record. Hill remains undefeated in his professional career and is coming off a win over Ovince Saint Preux in December.
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Knocks out Shogun Rua
Light HeavyweightUFC
November 21, 2020
Craig defeated Mauricio Rua via TKO (punches) at 3:36 of Round 2 at UFC 255 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's just the second knockout of Craig's 19-fight mixed martial arts career. Craig isn't known to be a fighter who generates a ton of offense, but he had a significant edge of Shogun both on the feet, and obviously on the mat. Craig landed 54 of 88 total strikes in addition to 4-of-8 takedowns in a fight which lasted less than nine minutes. Craig is an elite submission specialist who has long been held back by a lack of power in his hands. It seems highly unlikely that Craig -- who turns 33 years old next week -- has suddenly developed some additional skills. More likely, this was just a good matchup for him against an aging veteran. On a positive note, Craig is 3-0-1 in his past six bouts dating back to September 2019. He fights often and there's real value in that for a company which holds an event seemingly every week.
Facing Shogun in November
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 18, 2020
Craig will take on Mauricio Rua in a light heavyweight matchup at the UFC event scheduled for November 21, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
The two will finally settle the score from what was a lackluster draw the first time they faced off back in November of 2019. While Craig landed 51 significant strikes to Rua's 25 in that matchup, and was even credited with a takedown, an advance and a submission attempt, it was still a disappointing outcome for fantasy owners given the lack of a finishing bonus. Since that fight, Craig picked up a Performance of the Night bonus in a first-round submission over Gadzhimad Antigulov, while Rua beat a 44-year-old Rogerio Nogueira via decision. Craig closed as a big betting underdog for the first fight, but look for the odds and salaries to be closer this time around.
Racks up another submission win
Light HeavyweightUFC
July 25, 2020
Craig defeated Gadzhimurad Antigulov via submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:06 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Give Craig credit, everyone -- his opponents included -- are well aware he is a one-dimensional submission specialist, yet he somehow manages to win fights. Supremely confident he could tap out Antigulov off of his back, Craig accepted the position in the early going and quickly worked to finish his opponent off. It was a think of beauty and really showed just how dangerous Craig is on the mat. Craig's ceiling is forever limited by his inability to seriously threaten his opposition on the feet, but he can defeat any man on the roster who is foolish enough to give him the opportunity to clamp on a submission. The decisive victory will also earn Craig a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Headed to Fight Island
Light HeavyweightUFC
July 2, 2020
Craig will take on Gadzhimurad Antigulov in a light heavyweight matchup July 25 on Fight Island.
Craig had last been booked to face Ryan Spann in London on March 21, but that event ended up being the first in a wave of cards that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He'll now get a chance to return in the last of four nights of fights on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Craig, who is coming off a draw against Shogun Rua, will now take on Antigulov instead, the loser of back-to-back fights. This projects as a low-scoring fight from a fantasy perspective, as both fighters land only 2.33 significant strikes per minute or less. Antigulov will likely look for takedowns, as he's recorded five total in four UFC bouts, and Craig has a takedown defense of only 57 percent.
Next fight in limbo
Light HeavyweightUFC
April 6, 2020
Craig's next walk to the Octagon is in limbo in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Craig was originally scheduled to meet Ryan Spann at UFC London on March 21, but that event was cancelled at the last minute due to precautions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The UFC appears to be moving on, scheduling Spann to face Sam Alvey in a UFC 249 preliminary fight. The next steps for Craig are unclear at this time, as the Scottish fighter may be facing travel obstacles as a result of the pandemic.