Paul Craig sees fresh opportunities in middleweight division, eyeing potential Strickland matchup

Scottish fighter Paul Craig is setting his sights on the 185-pound division. Craig (16-6-1 MMA, 8-6-1 UFC) is looking for a fresh start following back-to-back losses to Volkan Oezdemir and Johnny Walker. The 35-year-old is confident that moving down a weight class could be the answer to his career woes.


In the recent episode of his “Leather’d Podcast,” Craig opened up about his decision to drop down to middleweight, saying, “there’s not a lot of fights above me who I’m going to get to fight, so I’m like, ‘Right, maybe there’s an opportunity at middleweight.’”


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But what’s next for the Scottish fighter? Craig plans to trial run the weight cut to ensure he’s comfortable in the new weight class. If all goes well, he’ll make his middleweight debut in his next fight.


While Craig is not planning a permanent move to middleweight, he’s eyeing fresh competition. He already has his sights set on Sean Strickland, and he thinks his skill set could pose problems for the division. Craig has submitted the likes of Nikita Krylov and former title challenger Magomed Ankalaev, making him a dangerous contender.


“I’m just a jiu-jitsu guy fighting MMA,” Craig said, referring to his grappling skills. “Size is gonna be a huge factor, as well. When you look at the champ, Israel Adesanya, he’s not got a lot of jiu-jitsu. I’m not saying he doesn’t have any, but if you’re a jiu-jitsu guy, that’s how you’re weighing this up. How many guys in that top 15 have elite-level jiu-jitsu?”


Only time will tell if Craig can make the cut and find success in the middleweight division. But one thing’s for sure, the Scottish fighter is ready to take on new challenges and leave his mark in the octagon.

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