The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Glendale, Arizona for the first time in well over a year tonight, as UFC 263 goes underway live on pay-per-view.
Headlining the event is a championship bout between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and No. 3 ranked middleweight contender Marvin Vettori, a rematch from their 2018 scrap that saw Adesanya the victor via split decision.
Co-headlining the event is another championship rematch, this one between UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and former WFF & LFA flyweight champion, No. 1 ranked flyweight contender Brandon Moreno.
Nate Diaz also returns tonight in the feature fight of the evening, as he faces No. 3 ranked Leon Edwards in the UFC’s first ever five-round non-title, non-main event bout.
Opening up the main card tonight came a light-heavyweight bout between No. 14 ranked Paul Craig (14-4-1) and No. 15 ranked Jamahal Hill (8-0) 1 NC.
This is a classic striker versus grappler match up.
Craig is about as savvy of an offensive submission fighter as we have, especially for being a BJJ brown belt, rather than being owner to a black belt. It’s surprising, because he can submit just about anyone in the world at 205 lbs.
Glover Teixeira may be the one exception to that.
Hill on the other hand is a wickedly dangerous striker who’s great at first hurting his opponents, then finishing them. Three of Craig’s four defeats come via knockout, and of course, as you see, Hill still has yet to be defeated.
Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Paul Craig def. Jamahal Hill via technical submission (triangle armbar) at 1:59 of round one
Hill comes out and takes the center of the octagon, while Craig throws a couple front kicks up the middle to keep Hill from coming into his range.
Hill ends up lunging in for for a left cross, where Craig ducks under, secures an overhook on Hill’s right arm, and attempts to pull guard. It doesn’t work the first time, but about ten seconds later on the second try it does.
Craig still has a hold of the left overhook on Hill’s right arm, which is looking kind of like a keylock from guard. He then transitions to an armbar, but Hill is able to spin out of it.
However, Craig is able to secure the overhook again and regain guard with it.
Now, Craig doesn’t go for the arm he has locked up, he goes for the left arm that he doesn’t have locked up, so brilliantly we must add, and breaks it within seconds.
Craig then locks up a triangle choke and starts violently striking Hill with elbows and punches, very violently. Hill’s arm was flopping around, and the fight was stopped a couple seconds after he tapped with his broken arm.
Hill did signal to the referee right when his arm got broken, but didn’t tap, which was strange. That’s why it wasn’t initially stopped.
But what’d we say? Paul Craig is absolutely wicked on the mat!
Even against a relatively inexperienced grappler, this is the type of performance that just blows you away!
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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 saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.