clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Paul Craig after submission loss at UFC Vegas 82?

UFC Vegas 82 went down this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 18, 2023) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, leaving several fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Jordan Leavitt, who was choked out by Chase Hooper in their Lightweight scrap.

And let’s not forget about Luana Pinheiro, who was knocked out by Amanda Ribas thanks to a well-executed spinning wheel kick (highlights). But, which fighter is suffering from one of the worst post-fight hangovers, now a few days removed from the show?

Paul Craig.

Coming into his headlining bout against Brendan Allen, Craig was looking to go 2-0 as a Middleweight after making a successful divisional debut by knocking out Andre Muniz this past summer (see it here), after back-to-back losses at Light Heavyweight.

Unfortunately for “Bearjew,” he ran into a streaking fighter who has been firing on all cylinders for some time now, winning five straight fights — four via submission — prior to the bout. And while a win over Allen — ranked No. 10 — would have been a quick path to a spot in the Top 10 for Craig, it didn’t pan out the way he would’ve liked.

While he put up a fight as best he could in the first two rounds, he eventually found himself in Allen’s world on the ground, giving up his back and eventually tapping to an air-tight, rear-naked choke.

The loss was a tough blow for the hard-hitting Scot, who will have to go back to the drawing board. The defeat was Craig’s third in last four fights, giving him the worst skid he’s had during his time with the promotion.

A fighter’s window of opportunity for gold is very small, and as the years go by and losses start mount, it starts to shut even quicker. And don’t get it twisted, Craig does have title aspirations, saying after his win over Muniz that he was looking to win titles in both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions.

After seven years with the promotion and three losses in four fights, Craig’s window has closed a bit more at age 35, and he is going to have to rack up several wins in a hurry to even get a shot at one of the titles. And for the time being, it seems that he is going to work toward trying to make a run at 185 pounds.

As for who he could realistically face next, it won’t be someone ranked in the Top 15, so perhaps a fight against someone like Bruno Silva is in order. Silva is currently on a two-fight skid and was last seen losing to Shara Magomedov just last month.

Will a win over Silva get Craig into the Top 10? It won’t, but it could give him a much-needed boost of confidence following his latest defeat. Silva also has a loss to Allen, and has been in there with the likes of former 185-pound champion, Alex Pereira, losing to “Poatan” via unanimous decision.


For complete UFC Vegas 82 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania