Headlining the event is a heavyweight clash of contenders between no. 4 Curtis Blaydes (16-3) and no. 6 Tom Aspinall (12-2), and co-headlining is a middleweight contest between Jack Hermansson (22-7) and Chris Curtis (29-8).
Opening up the main card tonight was a light-heavyweight bout between no. 8 ranked Paul Craig (16-4-1) and no. 9 ranked former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir (17-6).
Continue reading to see how this light-heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Volkan Oezdemir def. Paul Craig via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Craig starts out the fight doing what Craig does, pulling guard and looking for submissions. He comes relatively close to securing a heel hook, but Oezdemir is wise to it and they’re back to striking range.
Craig pulls guard a number of times throughout the first, and Oezdemir stays in his guard for maybe a minute on one of them, but stands right up every other time.
Oezdemir’s striking is looking good, as usual, and Craig lands a nice combination finished with a head kick at the end of the first.
Craig has more success with his striking in the second, but continues to shoot on takedowns and pull guard when he can’t secure them. It seems it’d be a better idea to kickbox with Oezdemir, given the success he’s having in doing so.
But, he’s a grappler at heart, and it shows.
It’s a close fight going into the third.
Craig ends up on his back a good amount throughout the third, as he continues to shoot on takedowns and try to pull guard. Oezdemir doesn’t buy into it once, he either stuffs the takedowns or just stands right up out of Craig’s guard.
Oezdemir forces Craig to strike with him, and he out-struck Craig in the striking totals, but Craig’s striking is much better than most of us had anticipated. It’s a shame he didn’t use it more.
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 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.