The London fight card has just had another huge fight made for the card. Certainly, one for fans to be buzzing about, when Paul Craig takes on the Swiss KO artist Volkan Oedemir. With only seven announced bouts, this event is already shaping up to be one of the cards of the year. After an extremely explosive night last time in London, it is no wonder the UFC is putting this much faith in the English capital to no doubt deliver again.
Paul “Bearjew” Craig
Fighting out of Scotland. Paul has thrust himself into Light Heavyweight contention with a string of impressive performances. Known by many as one of the most dangerous ground guys in the sport. Craig is under no illusions as to how he wins fights. Willing to pull guard and seemingly put himself in danger, “Bearjew” has become synonymous with comeback victories and tight Triangle Chokes. You can bet Paul Craig will be looking to replicate his last performance and submit Oezdemir.
Now ranked #8 after his last outing where he submitted Nikita Krylov off his back in trademark fashion. Entering the UFC back in 2016. Craig was handed one of the toughest starts possible in the organisation. His first seven opponents held a combined record of 53-2, with six of those fighters never tasting defeat. Since that difficult start, Paul has found his form and since gone on a six-fight unbeaten run finishing all five wins in that time.
With a record of 16-4-1, Craig has quickly become one of the dark horses in a division stacked with talent. Holding notable wins over Nikita Krylov, Jamahal Hill, and former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. “BearJew” really put his name out there when he submitted now #4 Magomed Ankalaev with one second remaining. In a fight he was almost certain to lose. Now in touching distance of a shot at the gold. An impressive win here and we’ll definitely see him fight in a title eliminator against another top contender soon.
Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir
Someone who knows what it’s like to fight for UFC gold. Volkan is no stranger to big fights. Bursting onto the scene, he made his UFC debut in 2017. Within just three fights, Oezdemir was challenging Daniel Cormier for the title. Unsuccessful, he has remained one of the division’s toughest fights. If you beat a tough competitor like “No Time” it usually means you’re worthy of the top rankings.
Ranked at #9, Volkan is looking to bounce back after losing his last two. Despite his current form, Oezdemir shouldn’t be counted out and can shut anyone’s lights out in no time. A ferocious puncher, anyone who steps in the cage with the Swiss-born fighter knows that if he catches you, you’re going to sleep. Only 32, Volkan has already competed against a who’s who of Light Heavyweight contenders.
Holding a professional record of 17-6. Volkan will be looking to add to that win column and once again fight for belt. Obviously extremely talented there’s no wonder why the matchmakers made this fight, it’s got banger written all over it.
One with dynamite in his hands. The other with boa constrictor levels of squeeze in his chokes. A typical striker vs grappler match-up this fight is as intruding as any at Light Heavyweight. No doubt where each fighter wants this fight to play out, with Paul likely to try to grab his opponent early and force him to the mat. Oezdemir will be throwing bombs and looking to take the Scots head off with every punch.
Paul will need to avoid standing in range with Volkan. Using long jabs and kicks, to land and set up takedowns and grappling exchanges. “No Time” should do just that when it comes to grappling, spending as little time as possible on the ground with Paul Craig. If the fight does hit the canvas, he must stay calm and make zero mistakes. Give Paul an inch and he’s not just taking a mile, but most likely a limb as well.
This is one of those fights that just makes sense. A tremendous job from the matchmakers this fight should have excitement coursing through fight fans around the world.
Who wins in this incredibly intriguing match-up?
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images