After successful 185 debut at UFC London, who is next for Paul Craig?

MMA: UFC Fight Night - London - Craig vs Muniz

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC London, a top ten light heavyweight contender made his debut in the middleweight division. Ninth ranked Paul Craig (17-6-1) made the drop down to 185 pounds where he took on top fifteen ranked middleweight Andre Muniz (23-6).

Paul Craig had a nice little run at 205 entering last July. He had four straight wins including one over Jamahal Hill who just vacated the light heavyweight title due to injury. However, back-to-back losses forced him to consider a change. He moved to 185 and took on Muniz.

Craig is known for his grappling and that made this matchup intriguing because of how dangerous Muniz is on the ground. I was curious to see how well Craig’s offensive wrestling would do now that he was at 185, and boy did it look good on Saturday.

Craig was able to land some big takedowns and after Muniz started to tire in the second, he really started to go to work. Craig was able to work his way to the mount and he rained down elbows. The referee was forced to jump in and Paul Craig got his first win in the UFC’s middleweight division.

What’s next after UFC London?

With this win, you can bet that Paul Craig is right in the mix in regards to the rankings at 185. Given the fact that he was ninth at light heavyweight and just defeated the 14th ranked middleweight contender, I think that Craig will jump right in at the 12 spot when the rankings come out this week.

Potentially 11th ahead of Brendan Allen, but I think 12 is the likely spot. With that spot, what should the UFC do with him next? Well, I think the 11th and 10th ranked middleweights are great options for Craig. One being Allen and the other being Jack Hermansson.

Personally, I lean a little towards Hermansson if I’m Craig. Hermansson has been in there with some of the best in the division and his style would compliment a fight against Craig. Their grappling exchanges would be a lot of fun and it would establish the winner at the tail end of the UFC’s top ten.

Allen would be another option, but I think there’s better matchups for Allen inside the top ten currently. However, if a fight doesn’t materialize for him, a fight with Craig would be sensational for both men.

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