UFC London Preview: Paul Craig – Volkan Oezdemir

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 London tomorrow is a light heavyweight bout between top ten contenders. Paul “Bearjew” Craig (16-4-1) will be looking to continue his impressive winning streak as he takes on former title challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir (17-6).

Crazy to think that in 2018, Volkan Oezdemir was fighting for the UFC light heavyweight title. The recent past hasn’t been so kind to “No Time”. Since his title loss to Daniel Cormier, Oezdemir has gone 2-4 in his last six fights.

Granted, the losses have all come against top-level competition. Entering UFC London, he’s lost two fights in a row to Magomed Ankalaev and current champ Jiri Prochazka. The road isn’t getting any easier tomorrow.

Paul Craig is a specialist and he’s so good at his specialty that it doesn’t matter how much you prepare for it. His ground game is practically unmatched in the light heavyweight division and he’s shown that off in the UFC.

Craig is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. During his time inside the octagon, he has submission wins over Nikita Krylov, Jamahal Hill, and Magomed Ankalaev. He’s hoping to enter the title picture with another win tomorrow.

UFC London Prediction

This is a fight where both men seemingly have a clear advantage. For Volkan Oezdemir, he’s going to have a striking advantage at UFC London. I don’t think anyone can deny that he will be the better striker.

However, Paul Craig is going to have the massive advantage on the ground. Oezdemir is going to have to defend takedowns and he’s also going to have to defend from Paul Craig pulling guard. If Craig pulls guard, he can latch up a triangle or armbar in seconds.

When it comes to my prediction, I have to go with Paul Craig. Right now, you almost have to play the odds of the fight hitting the ground once. If it does, I think he will lock up a quick submission and get the win at UFC London. However, if by some event it never hits the ground, it will be a win for Oezdemir.

Prediction: Paul Craig by Submission – Triangle Choke

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