- Paul Craig will take on Brendan Allen in the main event of UFC Vegas 82.
- Paul Craig is currently the 13th ranked fighter at middleweight.
After the madness of UFC 295, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is back to its base. Brendan Allen and Paul Craig are set to fight it out in the main event of UFC Vegas 82. The bout holds a lot of significance in the division as Craig currently sits in the 13th position at middleweight, while Allen holds the 10th ranking. While the winner of this bout will definitely not get a title shot, they will be in line for a big fight next.
Craig is the more established fighter between the two main event competitors this weekend. Ahead of his middleweight debut in his last fight against Andre Muniz, Craig fought all his career at light heavyweight. Amongst his best accomplishments, was Craig’s win over the former 205lbs champion Jamahal Hill. He also remains the only fighter to beat Magomed Ankalaev, who is a former title contender at light heavyweight.
It’s an EARLY Fight Day! ☀️#UFCVegas82 is LIVE at 2pmET / 11amPT on ESPN+
— UFC (@ufc) November 18, 2023
Although the Scottish fighter is looking to change the landscape of his career and become a title contender at middleweight, it is certainly not going to be easy. His opponent Brendan Allen is currently on a 5 fight win streak. In fact, Allen has only lost 2 fights in his last 10 outings inside the Octagon, and one of the losses came against the current divisional champion, Sean Strickland. So how is the fight likely to play out? Let’s find out.
UFC Vegas 82: Brendan Allen vs Paul Craig, stats
|6 (1 Draw)
UFC Vegas 82: Allen vs Craig, fight breakdown
Paul Craig’s MMA record stands at 17 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw. Known for his amazing grappling skills, Paul has a total of 13 submission wins to his name. But, Craig has also been hard at work to improve his striking. The jiu-jitsu maestro has 4 knock-out wins to his name as well. However, more often than not, Craig’s striking has been a cause of his downfall. Out of his 6 losses, the 35-year-old has 4 KO losses.
Brendan Allen (MMA record 22-5), on the other hand, somewhat mirrors Craig’s record as well. Much like his opponent this Saturday, Allen has 13 submissions as well. The rest of his wins are rounded out with 5 KOs and 4 decision victories. Out of his 5 MMA losses, the 27-year-old has 2 KO losses, 1 submission loss, and 2 losses via judges’ decision.
As far as stats are concerned, according to UFC Stats, Craig is currently averaging 1.91 takedowns per fight and attempts 1.7 submission holds on average. In terms of striking, the veteran fighter lands 2.57 strikes per minute and absorbs 2.85 strikes at the same time. So the way to a victory is pretty clear for Allen. Brendan has an average of 3.96 strikes landed per minute. Although he absorbs 3.89 strikes as well, it may not be such a big issue against Craig.
The South Carolina native also has an average of 1.22 takedowns per fight, but it will not be his best weapon against a seasoned grappler like Craig. During their face-off, Allen hinted that he’d be looking to use his striking more than the grappling and taunted Craig for pulling guard in his fights. Judging by the record, it is no surprise that Allen wants to keep the fight on the feet.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) November 17, 2023
So the main question is, who will walk away with the win? On paper, Brendan Allen will be the favorite to win the fight. He is younger, more agile, has a better chin, and a better gas tank. Hence, fans can expect a brawl in the UFC Vegas 82 main event between the two fighters and it will not be a major shock to see Allen walking away with the win.