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Paul Craig

AGE

31

RECORD

11-3-0

REACH

76”

HEIGHT

6’4”

WEIGHT

205LBS

STANCE

ORTHODOX

CAMP

SCOTTISH HILL SQUAD

HOMETOWN

COATBRIDGE, SCOTLAND

Fighter Highlights

RECENT FIGHTS

LAST FIGHT MARCH 2019 UFC ON ESPN 2 – VS KENNEDY NZECHUKWU

RESULT – WON VIA 3rd RD SUBMISSION (TRIANGLE CHOKE)

Analysis
Rd 1 – Craig is in the orthodox stance. Kennedy is in the southpaw stance. Craig opens the fight with a leg kick. Both fighters are flat footed and looking to explode on each other. Kennedy goes high with the kick, blocked by Craig. Kennedy establishes the forward pressure. He moves in with a knee to the body. Craig catches the single leg and starts working for a takedown against the fence. Kennedy explodes with a couple of hard elbows! 1st min in, Kennedy trips Craig down and takes the guard position! Craig shoots for the armbar!!! Kennedy shows his submission defense as he defends. They are back standing. Craig dives for a single leg once again but finishes in the bottom position. Kennedy is in the guard position. He lands a hard elbow from the top! Craig shoots for the armbar once again! Kennedy escapes and stands up. Both fighters are on their feet. Craig lands a leg kick. He shoots for the double leg but Kennedy easily defends. Halfway in, Craig doesn’t stop with the takedown attempts as he shoots once again! He grabs the double leg and partially scores the takedown. Kennedy is defending against the fence. He has displayed great takedown defense so far. Craig drops for the kneebar! Kennedy is defending well. Craig has locked the right leg of Kennedy. Kennedy defends once again. 1 min to go, Craig is already breathing heavily. He moves forward and lands a right hand over the top. Kennedy fires a high kick and lands! Craig loses his balance and finishes on the mat. Kennedy allows him to stand up. Kennedy is patient and waiting for a counter. Craig is looking to explode for a takedown. He goes high with the kick but Kennedy covers. 10-9 Craig

Rd 2 – Kennedy takes the center. Both fighters are working behind their jabs. Big kick to the body lands for Craig! He is looking to tire Kennedy out. He follows with another attack and lands a right hand. Craig dives for a single leg. Kennedy defends against the cage. Craig separates and lands a two-punch combo! He is more active in this fight. Craig shoots for the single leg. Kennedy is defending. Craig switches to a body lock and drags Kennedy down to the mat. 1st min in, Craig starts eating hard elbows! Kennedy has very good scrambles. Kennedy is on top and unloading with big elbows! He is destroying Craig on the bottom! Kennedy backs off. They are back on their feet. Craig moves forward and lands an eye poke. The referee stops the fight and gives Kennedy time to recover. The fight continues. Hard kick to the body lands for Craig! Kennedy responds with a stiff jab. Craig lands a kick to the groins. Kennedy is fine and the fight continues. Kennedy is marching forward. Craig closes the distance and lands a straight right. He is outboxing Kennedy on the feet. Kennedy starts walking Craig down. Craig is clearly slowing down. Stiff jab lands for Kennedy! 1 min to go, he goes high with the kick, blocked by Craig. Kennedy is the aggressor. Both fighters are slowing down. Kennedy explodes with a double knee to the body! It looks like he has more energy. Craig dives for a late takedown. Kennedy defends. 10-9 Kennedy

Rd 3 – Craig opens the round with a leg kick. They are pretty even in the standup. Kennedy is moving forward. Craig is keeping his distance with the kicks. Big kick to the body lands for Craig! Kennedy is patient and looking for the openings. 1st min in, Kennedy Has a hard time connecting with the punches. Craig level changes once again. Kennedy defends and calls him back to the feet. Craig quickly closes the distance and eats a nasty eye poke! The referee stops the fight and gives Craig time to recover. The referee takes the point out of Kennedy. The fight continues. Craig is exploding with the punches. He is mixing them high and low. Nice front kick lands for Craig. Kennedy responds with the left straight. Kennedy has not landed anything significant yet. Craig moves forward and initiates the clinch. Halfway in, Big elbow lands for Craig! He dives for a single leg. Kennedy is defending well. He finishes on top and in the side control position. He is working for a crucifix position. Kennedy is controlling Craig. Craig scrambles and gets his guard back. Kennedy explodes with the punches! Craig is controlling the wrists from the bottom. He shoots for the triangle choke! Kennedy defends. 1 min to go, Craig isolates the arm and gets the armbar!!! It looks tight!!! Kennedy tries to defend!!! Kennedy taps out!!!

WATCH FIGHT

DECMBER 2018 UFC FIGHT NIGHT 142 – VS JIM CRUTE

RESULT – LOST VIA 3rd RD SUBMISSION (KIMURA)

Analysis
Rd 1 – Both fighters are in the orthodox stances. Crute takes the center. Craig explodes with a wheel kick and partially lands! Crute establishes forward pressure. Craig explodes with a hard kick to the body. Craig dives for a double leg. He scores a takedown and takes the guard position. 1st min in Crute scrambles from the bottom. Craig shows great top control. Crute is constantly searching for his way up. He beautifully scrambles and reverses the position! Crute is in the half guard position. Craig is trying to isolate the arm of Crute. Crute spots the danger and defends. Both fighters are showing great grappling skills. Crute backs off. They are back standing. Crute explodes with the right hand. He misses and loses his balance. However, he grabs the single leg and gets the takedown. Halfway in, Craig shoots for the triangle! He is landing nice hammer fists from the bottom! Crute shows his submission defense and escapes the danger! He steps over and takes the full mount! Craig is in trouble! Crute shoots for the arm triangle choke! It looks tight!!! Craig is looking relaxed on the bottom. He manages to defend. Craig is scrambling from the bottom. Crute is putting strong pressure on his from the top. 1 min to go, Crute postures and lands a couple of hard hammer fists! Crute stands up. They are back on their feet. Spinning back kick to the body lands for Craig! He follows with a level change but finishes in the bottom position. Crute is displaying good takedown defense so far. Crute is almost in the side control. He is landing nice ground and pound. 10-9 Crute

Rd 2 – Crute takes the center. Both fighters exchange kicks to the body. Craig closes the distance and fires a quick one-two combo. Crute starts walking Craig down. Craig level changes and scores a double leg takedown. He takes the guard position. Crute has a body lock. 1st min in, Craig is busy with the short punches to the body. Crute is breathing heavily on the bottom. Craig is putting strong pressure on Crute. He is pressuring the neck of Crute with his shoulder. Craig is passive from the top. Crute scrambles from the bottom and escapes back to his feet. Great job by Crute. They are back in the center. Craig immediately shoots for the takedown. Crute defends and takes his back! Big hammer fists are landing for Crute! Halfway in, Craig scrambles and grabs the single leg. He manages to reverse the position once again. Both fighters are great grapplers. Crute is landing nice short punches from the bottom. Craig is very passive from the top. It looks like he is tired. 1 min to go, Crute is keeping close guard. Crute scrambles form the bottom and reverse the position once again! He is looking like a fresher fighter. Crute backs off and they are back standing. Crute explodes with the right hook. Craig level changes once gain but finisher on his back. Craig is looking desperate in his takedown attempts. Crute is in the half guard position. He is looking to isolate the arm! Craig sees it coming and manages to reverse the position! 10-9 Crute

Rd 3 – Crute takes the center. Craig lands a couple of jabs. He explodes with a kick to the body and lands! Crute tries to close the distance but Craig immediately shoots for the double leg. Crute defends and takes the top position. Craig doesn’t care if he is on top or bottom position. He just wants to be on the mat. 1st min in, Crute is in the half guard. He threatens with the Kimura! Craig defends. Crute shows his grappling skills and passes the guard into the full mount! Craig is turning to his right. Crute is working for the arm triangle! Craig is holding on the best he can! Crute manages to move his body back to the side control! It looks like the choke is in!!! Halfway in, Craig is showing his big heart as he is still holding on to it. Crute is very committed to the submission! He is readjusting the choke. He steps into the full-mount. Craig escapes the danger! Great recovery by Craig! Crute is dominating the fight on the mat. 1 min to go, Crute is busy with the punches. Craig is looking desperate. He has no answer in this round. Big elbows are landing for Crute! He grabs the arm and shoots for the Kimura!!! Craig immediately taps out!!! 

WATCH FIGHT

MARCH 2018 UFC FIGHT NIGHT 127 – VS MAGOMED ANKALAEV

RESULT – WON VIA 3rd RD SUBMISSION (TRIANGLE CHOKE)

Analysis
Rd 1 – Craig is in the orthodox stance. Ankalaev is in the southpaw stance. Both fighters are flat footed. They are measuring their distance with the kicks. Big kick to the body lands for Craig! Ankalaev slowly establishes the pressure. He connects with a nice leg kick. Ankalaev explodes and lands a double left hook. He is looking g more relaxed. 1st min in, Craig is setting up his timing. Ankalaev moves in with the punches. Craig shows great footwork. Big kick to the body lands for Ankalaev! Craig has felt that one! Craig initiates the clinch. Ankalaev tries to create some space. Craig lands a knee to the groins. The referee stops the fight and gives Ankalaev time to recover. The fight continues. Craig fires a leg kick but eats a counter left hook. Ankalaev has found his timing on the counter punches. Craig starts throwing hard kicks to the body. He dives for a single leg but Ankalaev stops it. Halfway in, Craig is working for a takedown against the fence. Halfway in, Ankalaev is displaying great wrestling defense. He reverses the clinch position. Ankalaev separates and fires a quick left hand! Craig sees the chance and dives for a double leg. Craig scores the takedown and gets the side control! This is a good position for Craig. Ankalaev is scrambling form the bottom. He is working for his way up. Craig is showing nice top control. Ankalaev creates some space and grabs the double leg from the bottom. Ankalaev reverses the position! 1 min to go, Craig is looking calm and relaxed on the bottom. Ankalaev postures and lands a couple of punches. He stands up and lands a couple of leg kicks. Ankalaev is looking for his way back. He explodes and lands a big right hand! He jumps into the full mount position!!! 10-9 Ankalaev

Rd 2 – Craig opens the round with a head kick. Ankalaev blocks and establishes the forward pressure. Big leg kick lands for Ankalaev! Craig responds with a spinning kick to the body. Ankalaev explodes with an overhand right. Craig escapes.  Craig is looking patient. Ankalaev is very explosive. 1st min in, He connects with another right hand. He is much faster during the exchanges. Big kick to the body lands for Craig. Ankalaev stats walking Craig down. Craig responds with a level change but ends up in the clinch against the fence. Ankalaev separates and lands a nasty three punch combo on the separation! Ankalaev is looking sharp. He is outscoring Craig on the feet. Halfway in, Craig establishes the jab. Ankalaev moves in with the punches. Craig sees the chance and level changes for a double leg. Craig scores the takedown. Ankalaev grabs the double leg from the bottom and reverses the position! Great stuff from Ankalaev! He is in side control. Craig is defending from the bottom. 1 min to go, Ankalaev is looking for the crucifix position. Craig defends. Craig turns into him. Ankalaev lands a couple of punches. 10-9 Ankalaev

Rd 3 – Ankalaev immediately explodes with the punches. Big head kick lands for Ankalaev! Craig spots the danger and dives for a takedown! Ankalaev makes a smart decision and backs off. They are back in the center. Ankalaev is looking like a fresher fighter. He is confident. Craig starts walking Ankalaev. He is exploding with the kicks but they don’t have much power behind. 1st min in, Ankalaev connects with a kick to the body. He fakes the level change and lands a hard left hook! Craig absorbs the shot well. Another left hook lands for Ankalaev. He is outboxing and outwrestling Craig in this fight. Craig level changes once again. Ankalaev is controlling the neck. Ankalaev is looking to take the back of Craig! Craig scrambles and manages to get back to his feet. Halfway in, Craig explodes with the spinning back elbow but falls to the mat. Ankalaev follows and takes the guard position. Ankalaev is controlling the fight. He is busy with the short punches. Craig is in all sorts of trouble. He is looking tired and beaten. 1 min to go, Craig is working for a submission from the bottom. Ankalaev is showing great conditioning. He is using great head position on the mat. He explodes with a couple of hard punches! Craig pulls the triangle choke in the last seconds of the fight!!! Ankalaev taps out!!! What a comeback!!! 

WATCH FIGHT

MARCH 2017 – VS TYSON PEDRO

RESULT – LOST VIA 1ST RD TKO ELBOWS

Analysis
Rd 1 – Craig comes forward, couple lead leg head kicks miss or blocked. 4 attempts. Nothing lands clean. Craig pushing forward landing a couple straights, instigating the clinch. Pedro times a knee, reverses position. Pedro controlling. Hiptoss from Craig, they hit the mat but immediately back up. Pedro still controlling. Pedro partially lands a knee to the head. More knees land for Pedro, Craig finally reverses position and lands an uppercut as they break. Strong straight right lands for Pedro. Another puts Craig on the mat, as he attempts a leg kick. Pedro lets him back up and lands another strong right hand. Craig looks to clinch, big knees from Pedro land to the head of Craig. Craig looking for the dame throw, gets it but loses all position. Pedro now in side control, landing a couple short elbows. 1 min to go. Pedro has mounted crucifix feeding Craig vicious elbows. Ref steps in.

DECEMBER 2016 – VS LUIS HENRIQUE DA SILVA

RESULT – WON VIA 2ND RD SUB TRIANGLE

Analysis
Craig UFC Debut. Rd 1 – Craig comes forward. Throwing lead leg kick, body kick caught by Luis Henrique who closes distance and takes the fight to the cage. Both landing the odd strike in the clinch. Craig lands 6,7 uppercuts in the clinch. Luis Henrique doesn’t seem fazed and continues to pressure. Nice dirty boxing from Craig. Uppercut and knee land for Craig. Who finds space, lands another lead body kick and excellent entry into the takedown. Luis Henrique trying for a kimura, doesn’t get it. Craig postured and controlling in side control, landing nice short elbows. Craig continues to control from side. He tries to pass to mount doesn’t get it, as Luis Henrique stands, Craig locks in a Guillotine choke, pulling Luis Henrique back down to the mat. Luis Henrique finally manages to escape and they stand. Spinning back kick misses. Both fighters look tired. Big overhand right lands for Luis Henrique. Luis Henrique goes for the takedown, but its Craig that is able to scramble to top position. 10 – 9 Craig.

Rd 2 – Luis Henrique looks tired. Craig comes forward with a couple peppering leg kicks, punches and a body kick, before shooting for a double leg, doesn’t get it. Luis Henrique pressuring Craig in the clinch against the cage. Craig does well to reverse. He goes high with a push kick and leg kick. Luis Henrique lands a big counter right. Craig pulls guard into butterfly, Luis Henrique able to get up but goes back into Craigs guard trying to swing his legs to get side, but instead ends up in a triangle.

OCTOBER 2016 – VS MARCIN LAZARZ

RESULT – WON VIA 1ST RD SUB CHOKE

Analysis
Rd 1 – Chopping low kick lands for Lazarz. Craig being very patient. Craig lands a leg kick. Lazarz trying to work his jab. Body punch lands for Lazarz. 2 mins in and Craig hasnt thrown anything. Lazarz tries to rush Craig, but he does well to circle and avoid. They clinch. Craig lands a knee, and takes Lazarz to the cage. Craig pressing for a single leg, Lazarz doing a good job of defending. Craig now with double unders, finally gets Lazarz down and into half guard. Lazarz does excellent to scramble and takedown Craig, who immediately reverses, into mount, and looking for an armbar transitioning quickly to the triangle.

JUNE 2016 – VS KARL MOORE

RESULT – WON VIA 2ND RD SUB CHOKE

Analysis
Rd 1 – Big body kick lands for Craig. Moore closes distance lands a solid punch and looks for the takedown against the cage. Craig able to trip Moore to the ground. Ref stops it for an illegal blow… they start again in the middle. Head kick blocked for Craig. Couple more kicks to the body, Moore responds with 2 power straight clipping Craig on entry to the clinch. Craig tries for a double leg, and gets reversed. Moore in mount, Craig gives up his back. Moore looks to have the choke in. Craig manages to pop his head out and scramble, but Moore maintains mount to close out the round.

Rd 2 – Moore comes forward with punches, Craig shoots, for a double against the cage, he changes to a single and gets it. Moore scrambles up, but Craig has sunk in a standing guillotine. Moore taps. Wow.

RECORD BREAKDOWN

14 MATCHES 11 WINS 3 LOSSES
KNOCKOUT 1 2
SUBMISSION 10 1
DECISION 0 0
DRAWS
NO CONTEST

 

FIGHTER THINGS TO NOTE

  • Craig is the grappling-based fighter with very dangerous submission skillset.
  • He is the former BAMMA Light heavyweight Champion.
  • Craig is the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt.
  • Craig is feeling comfortable fighting on the mat. He doesn’t care in which position as seen against Crute and Kennedy.
  • He has decent wrestling skills. However, he can be reckless in his takedown attempts as seen against Crute and Kennedy.
  • He doesn’t have any particular standup skills. His kicks are very powerful as seen against Kennedy.
  • Against Crute, he has finished in the bottom position after every takedown attempt.
  • His submission defense is very good as seen against Crute.
  • Against Ankalaev, he was eating a lot of punches coming from his right. He had a hard time defending them.
  • His wrestling defense was not on point against Ankalaev.