At UFC Vegas 82, middleweights Brendan Allen and Paul Craig competed in their first UFC main event.
Brendan Allen boasts an impressive 10-2 UFC record and entered the Octagon with a six-bout winning streak. Hailing from Louisiana, Allen demonstrated a versatile skill set as he is proficient in both striking and jiu-jitsu.
In stark contrast, Paul Craig is known for his lethal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prowess but not the best in the striking department. Craig faced the challenge of adapting to the middleweight division after a career primarily spent in the light-heavyweight division.
His move to the 185-lb weight class began with a successful victory over fellow BJJ ace Andre Muniz.
The bout started out as a slow-motion punching duel in which Allen made some good blows but missed some more powerful ones. A minute in, he and Craig locked up and exchanged some knees. But Craig shoved Allen to the fence and attempted a takedown.
In response, Allen threw Paul into the mat solidly with a hip toss. Brendan almost got into a back mount, but he settled into half-guard. Craig almost went for a calf slicer from below, but he opted for a leg hold instead. This allowed Paul to stand up.
— MMA Melotto (@MMAmelotto) November 19, 2023
On the feet, Allen just lifted and hurled the Scotsman back to the ground. Allen took the upper hand on Craig’s guard and managed to keep him at bay until the finish of the round.
In round two, Brendan Allen pulled guard after an early striking exchange went Allen’s way. He launched a powerful elbow from the top that sliced open Paul’s eyebrow. After Allen executed a powerful pass to half-guard and then full mount, blood poured across the mat.
Allen tried to put Craig in an arm triangle, but Craig was able to go back to half-guard. Allen was unable to submit, but he continued to retain a low and forceful top control while launching short punches and stinging elbows. Brendan attempted a late back-take and choke hold, but the bell at the conclusion of the round stopped it.
Entering the third round, Allen continued his striking dominance with powerful blows. Transitioning seamlessly to a guillotine choke and subsequently a back take, Allen executed a rear-naked choke. This compelled Craig to tap out.
With a remarkable six-bout winning streak, Brendan Allen solidifies his claim for a title shot in the middleweight division. His consistent finishes and skills position him favorably for a potential showdown against a top-five contender.
Official Result: Brendan Allen secures victory over Paul Craig via Submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 3 at 0:38.