Coming into the fight, Scotland’s Paul Craig holds a record of 17-6-1. He enjoyed a successful middleweight debut last time out in London back in July by defeating André Muniz via TKO. From a mounted position, Craig battered Muniz with elbows until the referee stopped the fight with only 20 seconds remaining in the second round. He halted a two-fight losing streak with the victory and got his middleweight career off to a dream start after moving down from light heavyweight.
‘Bearjew’ can never be counted out. He is one of the most accomplished grapplers in the UFC and is always dangerous when on his back. Just when you think the Scotsman is in trouble, he can pull out a submission from seemingly nowhere. See the Nikita Krylov fight for a good example of this. Craig may well put himself into the middleweight top 10 with a win over Allen.
Brendan Allen has been tearing through middleweight contenders recently. He is on a five-fight win streak, the last four of which have been in the 185lb division. Out of those five wins, four have been via submission including his last victory against Bruno Silva. Allen won back-to-back performance of the night bonuses with his wins over Krzysztof Jotko and André Muniz, as did Craig against Jamahal Hill and Krylov. The matchup with Craig will have Jiu-Jitsu fans salivating at the prospect of a grappling masterclass. Allen is ranked number 10, and will surely call out a big name if he is able to get past Craig.
Brendan Allen Submits Paul Craig at UFC Vegas 82
In the first round both fighters looked to strike until Craig initiated a clinch. The fight went to the ground and Allen tried to take the back before ending up on top. Craig almost locked up a calf slicer as Allen looked to advance the position. Allen attacked Craig’s leg at the same time and the Scotsman had to let go of the submission attempt. Allen ended round 1 on top of Craig.
At the beginning of round 2 both fighters landed big shots on each other at the same time. As the fight ended up on the canvas again, Allen looked to work in Craig’s guard trying to mount him and find submissions. Allen landed some good elbows from a dominant position and controlled Craig for the majority of the round. ‘Bearjew’ was sliced open from the elbows and Allen attempted a rear naked choke right at the end of the round but didn’t finish it.
Round 3 saw Allen land some big shots to the body and head before attempting a guillotine and landing on top of Craig. Allen was able to move to mount before taking the back of Craig and he saw his opportunity to sink in a rear naked choke. This time he was successful and scored an impressive and dominant submission win over his opponent.