The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us today, July 22, 2023, for our second UFC London event of the year.
Headlining the event is a match up of heavyweight contenders, as no. 5 ranked Tom Aspinall (12-3) takes on no. 10 ranked Marcin Tybura (24-7) in the main event of the evening.
Co-headlining the event is a 125 lb affair between former Cage Warriors flyweight champion Molly McCann (13-5) and former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Julija Stoliarenko (10-7-2).
Our first feature fight of the evening came at 185 lbs between a pair of BJJ aces in Paul Craig (17-6-1) and no. 14 ranked Andre Muniz (23-6). Craig, the no. 9 ranked light-heavyweight contender in the world, moved down to the middleweight division for the first time today.
Of Craig’s 16 career wins, 13 had come via submission with 3 knockouts, while of Muniz’ 23 career wins, 15 came via submission with 4 knockouts. What’s more, each man, to our surprise, had been submitted once in their careers. Craig was 5-2-1 in his last eight coming into today’s contest, while Muniz had gone 5-1 through his first six promotional appearances.
Continue reading to see how this middleweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Paul Craig def. Andre Muniz via TKO (elbows) at 4:40 of round two
Round one is very much a feeling-out process between these two, each of them landing good body and leg kicks.
Muniz lands a good punch combination early on, and Craig lands a couple solid jabs through the first five minutes. Muniz secures the first takedown of the fight, remaining in Craig’s guard for the final 40 seconds of the opening round.
Craig gets Muniz down early on in the second, though he gets locked up in a triangle choke. Wouldn’t it have been ironic if Paul Craig of all people got finished by a triangle choke? Considering Muniz is a 3rd-degree black belt in BJJ that for instance submitted Jacare Souza in the past, Paul Craig fans were a bit tense in this moment.
Craig stands up out of it however before Muniz returns to his feet and takes Craig down himself. But, due to an illegal headbutt, Muniz loses his position on top and is quickly taken down again with a beautifully timed double leg by Craig.
Craig passes and locks up a D’Arce choke, which he comes quite close to finishing the fight with. He lets it go however and mounts Muniz, where he reigns down some nasty elbows from top position to secure the stoppage late in round two.
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) July 22, 2023
Paul Craig snaps his two-fight win streak today at UFC London, securing his 17th career finish in his 17th career win.
Paul Craig, interestingly enough, is also the only man to ever defeat former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill (triangle armbar, 12-1), as well as no. 2 ranked light-heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev (triangle choke, 18-1-1).
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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!