Two-division standout Paul Craig does not see Sean Strickland pulling off the upset in his first UFC title opportunity next month.
On September 9, the often outspoken and always controversial middleweight contender will slide into the main event spotlight at UFC 293 for a 185-pound title tilt with reigning division champion, Israel Adesanya. Currently, ‘The Last Stylebender’ is listed as a signification favorite, sitting as a -375 favorite on a majority of popular sportsbooks. That means that in order to win $100 dollars, you’ll have to lay down $375 big one’s on the two-time titleholder.
Speaking with The Schmo, Scottish fan favorite Paul Craig suggested those odds were spot on, claiming that Sean Strickland has zero chance of scoring the upset and leaving The Land Down Under with UFC gold wrapped around his waist.
“No, not a chance,” Craig replied when asked if Strickland stands a chance against Adesanya. “Sean Strickland fights with his lands [low]. Izzy will capitalize on that and pick him apart. Pick, poke, and he’ll make him look like an average fighter.”
Originally, Adesanya was expected to face top-ranked contender Dricus Du Plessis at the event, but ‘Stillknocks’ was unable to make the quick turnaround following his stunning second-round knockout against former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker at UFC 290.
“I think the fight we all want to see is Du Plessis where he’s a wee bit more wilder,” Craig continued. “He kind of rumbles. They step forward [unloading] shots and I think that will work against someone like Adesanya who likes the crisp boxing, the crisp kickboxing. I think that’s his route to victory, that crazy fight.”
PAUL CRAIG DOES IT AGAIN 💥
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Paul Craig Believes There is Only One Man Equipped to Take the Middleweight Title from Israel Adesanya
Asked who he thinks could potentially dethrone Israel Adesanya, Paul Craig provided a rather unsurprising answer.
“I think there’s only one guy who’s got the jiu-jitsu. You know, if you’re going to try an outstrike Izzy, who is a high-level striker, it’s not going to work for you,” Craig said. “We’ve seen him go up against some of the best strikers in his division and he’s picked and poked them apart, whereas what I think you need to do is the same way [Jan] Blachowicz beat him. Drag him to the mat, take away his game plan, and then submit him. That’s my key to victory in there.
“So who do I think is going to be the guy to take the belt off him? I think it’s going to be me.”