UFC Light-Heavyweight Paul Craig Produces the Latest Ever Finish in UFC History…
You know when you’ve witnessed something special. UFC Fight Night 126 took place last in London’s 02 Arena and fight fans were lucky to see some special moments. On paper, it was a fairly light card, with headliner Fabricio Werdum being by far the most recognizable name.
The former heavyweight champion took on Alexander Volkov in an intense fight that left the Brazilian unconscious. This was not how it was meant to go down. Immediately before this, home favorite Jimi Manuwa lost by decision to Jan Blachowicz after a crazy back and forth slugfest.
Arguably though the most special moment of the night belonged to a certain Scottish hero. Paul Craig managed to produce a crazy moment of magic to seal his place in UFC history. The light-heavyweight has had his share of ups-and-downs but managed to add a beautiful move to his highlight reel.
Needed to Win
After back to back defeats to Khali Rountree and Tyson Pedro, Craig was in desperate need of a win in London, to avoid the risk of being cut. The Scottish fighter is a fan-favorite from his time as the BAMMA light-heavyweight champion.
On his UFC debut back in 2016 in Sacramento, the Scot won the performance of the night bonus against Henrique de Silva. He won in dramatic fashion by an armbar submission. Grappling and Ju-Jitsu is his bread and butter.
What a Finish
Craig has cult status. Fans love his personality, as seen when he wore Mel Gibson-style Scottish warrior make-up to the weigh-ins. However, he really needed a win last night, and for most of the fight, it didn’t look like it was coming.
Magomed Ankalaev was his opponent on the night. The UFC newcomer looked like he was cruising to a unanimous decision win, after managing to dominate Craig throughout the fight. He unleashed ground and pound over and over, with Craig desperately trying to hang on.
Suddenly though, Craig produced a moment of sheer magic. From his back, with the clock ticking down, he locked in the triangle choke and produced the most glorious submission with literally one second left of the entire fight. What a miraculous moment.
— UFC (@ufc) March 17, 2018
Needless to say, Craig was emotional after the fight. He’d just saved his job and managed to enter UFC folklore in the process. He poured out his heart and gave thanks to the strong support that followed him down south from Scotland to London. Craig said:
“Listen, people say the Irish fans are the best, but the Scottish fans are so loud and so supportive. To come back after two losses and get that finish, it just means so much. My coach jumped into the octagon and said I had finished it with only seconds to spare. Now I’m going to take my kids to Disneyland and give them something special to make up for all the time I spend training and preparing.”
Beautiful. Hopefully, we’ll see Craig kick on now with his UFC career. He’s got the right type of personality and produces enough moments of magic that he could go on to be something special once he finally settles down.