UFC 283 Preview: Paul Craig – Johnny Walker

Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Paul Craig reacts following his victory against Jamahal Hill during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off the main card of UFC 283 from Brazil tomorrow night is a battle in the light heavyweight division. One of the best submission artists in the division Paul Craig (16-5-1) is back as he takes on the entertaining hometown man Johnny Walker (19-7).

In an era of the UFC where fighters are known for being extremely well-rounded, Paul Craig is a specialist. That said, he’s a very elite specialist who can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at anytime. He’s looking to bounce back after he saw his four-fight winning streak snapped in London by Volkan Oezdemir last July.

In his octagon career, Craig has defeated the likes of Jamahal Hill, Magomed Ankalaev, Nikita Krylov, and former light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua. That said, he also has been knocked out four times which shows he’s very hittable on the feet.

Johnny Walker bursted onto the UFC scene like a bat out of hell. After earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, he won his first three fights by first round knockout with no fight lasting longer than two minutes. However, he then injured his shoulder during a celebration and his career completely derailed.

He returned in 2019 to take on Corey Anderson and proceeded to go 1-4 in his next five bouts. In the one fight he did win, he almost got knocked out by Ryan Spann before pulling off the comeback win. He did look very impressive against Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279 when he pulled off a rare submission.

UFC 283 Prediction

In my opinion, there are only three outcomes possible for this light heavyweight matchup tomorrow night. One outcome is that Paul Craig gets this fight to the ground by a takedown or pulling guard and pulls off a submission victory. More than likely off of his back.

Another outcome is that Johnny Walker just brutalizes Craig on the feet and gets the TKO finish without Craig ever getting a chance to submit him. The last outcome is a very boring stalemate where Craig is constantly trying to get the fight to the ground unsuccessfully while Walker gets the better of uneventful striking exchanges.

Two outcomes I see Johnny Walker winning and honestly, I think Johnny Walker gets the victory at UFC 283. I think he’ll be charged up by the Brazilian fans and we will see that aggression come back out that we haven’t seen in a while. Don’t be surprised if it happens in the second round, but I see Johnny Walker getting a big KO tomorrow night in the first.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by KO – Round 1

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