Paul Craig drops down to 185 lbs, faces fellow submission machine Andre Muniz at UFC London
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the o2 Arena in London, England this summer on July 22, 2023, where no. 5 ranked heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall (12-3) shares a main event slot opposing no. 10 ranked Marcin Tybura (24-7).
Another exciting bout that’s recently been added to the lineup comes at 185 lbs, where Paul Craig (16-6-1) drops down to the middleweight division to face fellow stud grappler Andre Muniz (23-5).
This is such an intriguing matchup for so many reasons. Who knew Paul Craig was going to leave the light-heavyweight division?
Craig is one of, if not the greatest offensive BJJ fighter on the entire UFC roster. He already has the second-most submission wins in light-heavyweight history with six, and he has the most triangle choke submission victories in UFC history at four.
Now he’s bringing that level of grappling to the middleweight division, where he’ll be facing a 3rd-degree black belt in BJJ, Andre Muniz.
This Brazilian finisher won his first five promotional bouts, three via submission (all three armbars). One of those came over MMA & BJJ legend Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, as he became the first man to ever submit his fellow Brazilian, who is a 6th-degree black belt in the art mind you.
Muniz was however shockingly submitted (rear naked choke) by Brendan Allen in his most recent bout earlier this year, marking the first time he’d ever been submitted.
Craig has been submitted just once as well, by fellow BJJ black belt Jimmy Crute. He comes into the bout on a two-fight skid, though he was 5-0-1 in his last six prior to that, having avenged the draw.
Of their losses, both have been knocked out in four of them and submitted in just one; Craig has one decision loss to his resume, to Volkan Oezdemir in July of 2022.
Of their wins, this is also quite similar; Craig has finished all 16 of his victories, 13 via submission and 3 via knockout, while Muniz has finished 19 of his 23 with 15 submissions and 4 knockouts.
What’s more, each of these men have fought at 205 lbs, and each were champions at some point through their careers; Craig laying claim to the BAMMA light-heavyweight championship in 2015, and Muniz having won the Bitetti Combat middleweight title in 2013.
Who do you see coming out on top in this epic middleweight showdown going down at UFC London?
If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to share it on social media!
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!