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Paul Craig: UFC Struggle Night time 232 predominant occasion vs. Brendan Allen will play out on toes however finish on floor

November 15, 2023 7:00 pm ET LAS VEGAS – Paul Craig knows what his UFC Fight Night 232 main event matchup vs. Brendan Allen looks like on paper, but he doesn’t see it going that way. Craig (17-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) and Allen (22-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who meet in Saturday’s middleweight headliner that streams

Paul Craig: UFC Struggle Night time 232 predominant occasion vs. Brendan Allen will play out on toes however finish on floor

LAS VEGAS – Paul Craig is aware of what his UFC Fight Night 232 predominant occasion matchup vs. Brendan Allen appears like on paper, however he doesn’t see it going that means.

Craig (17-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) and Allen (22-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who meet in Saturday’s middleweight headliner that streams on ESPN+ from the UFC Apex, are two of essentially the most confirmed harmful fighters within the division with regards to grappling expertise.

That might result in the idea they are going to go tit-for-tat on the mat till one prevails, however Craig doesn’t see it that means.

“That is a kind of battles the place folks say, ‘It’s going to be a grappling battle’ – I don’t consider that,” Craig informed MMA Junkie and different reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Struggle Night time 232 media day. “I consider this battle may be very a lot going to be a stand-up battle. Who’s going to manage the gap? Who’s going to manage the octagon? Then from that, who’s going to capitalize with these heavy pictures. Imposing injury, imposing will, and from that, it’ll be then ended on the bottom. It’ll be received on the toes, ended on the bottom.”

If it does show to be a stand-up affair, Craig is assured he’ll thrive there. His placing has been dismissed as low-level up to now, particularly from a vital evaluation from UFC light-weight Renato Moicano.

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Though Craig hears those that downplay his capability in that space, he mentioned he is aware of what he’s actually able to, and expects to point out it towards Allen.

“When fighters provide you with any criticism, you clearly wish to present them that they’re improper,” Craig mentioned. “However till you’ve had any of the smoke, you sort of simply sit there whatever the fighter. Should you catch these palms, you’ll understand how good the placing is. We’ve confirmed glimmers of hope in our placing. We don’t have to be a great striker, you simply have to be a great jiu-jitsu practitioner. We’ve proven that as a light-weight heavyweight. We’ve overwhelmed so most of the high grapplers within the mild heavyweight division. After which we clearly beat (Andre) Muniz, who’s a really high-level grappler. So with regards to showcasing my expertise, I’ve already showcased that. What number of guys’ arms has he damaged?”

After spending the whole thing of his UFC profession at mild heavyweight, Craig moved right down to 185 kilos in July and received his debut with a second-round TKO of Andre Muniz at UFC Struggle Night time 224.

Craig mentioned the second weight reduce to the division has solely been smoother, and from that perspective, his bodily form ought to solely be higher this time round.

At 35, Craig mentioned he solely has “six to eight” fights left in his profession, and he is aware of that is the time to make a run. He’s being affected person in his strategy, and intends to go step-by-step till he reaches the highest.

“It’s now about resetting new objectives and attending to that title,” Craig mentioned. “I do know it’s shut. I do know I’m within the combine. I’ve been given a possibility, however what you possibly can’t do, is look previous your opponent who’s standing in entrance of you. … So I have to be centered on Brendan Allen.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC Fight Night 232.

Remember to go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of combined martial arts.

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