Paul Craig has put the entire middleweight division on notice. That includes undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev.
After making a name for himself at light heavyweight, ‘Bearjew’ delivered another highlight-reel-worthy performance in his middleweight debut, earning a second-round TKO against BJJ specialist Andre Muniz at UFC London on Saturday. Following his impressive performance inside the iconic O2 Arena, Craig revealed that he is far from done at light heavyweight, but made sure to put everyone in the middleweight division on notice during his appearance at the UFC London post-fight press event.
“We aren’t done with light heavyweight and we’re just starting at middleweight,” Craig said. “We will do both and it’s where the fights are. If the fights are at light heavyweight, then we’ll take it. We have the only victory over Jamahal Hill. We have the only victory over [Magomed] Ankalaev. We have beaten [Nikita] Krylov with a few bumps in the road in the light heavyweight division, but we’ll take both divisions.”
Craig also revealed that he has five years left in his career to reach the top of one of those two divisions.
“Ultimately, we’ve got another five years left in this company and we’re going to leave with a bit of metal, be it middleweight or be it light heavyweight. We’re coming for it,” Craig added.
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) July 22, 2023
Paul Craig Predicts the End of Khamzat Chimaev’s Win Streak Should the Two Step Inside the Octagon
Much of the buzz surrounding the middleweight division currently revolves around Khamzat Chimaev, an undefeated wrestler who has mauled practically every man that has stood in front of him thus far. Like Paul Craig, ‘Borz’ made a name for himself in a different weight class, but on October 21, Chimaev is scheduled for a high-profile middleweight clash with one-time title contender Paulo Costa at UFC 294.
“If it’s Khamzat [Chimaev] and he takes me down, there’s a good chance he’s going to get triangled,” Craig said while talking about potential matchups at middleweight.
With Craig gaining some recognition as a top ten light heavyweight and now a potential threat at middleweight, ‘Bearjew’ would love to see the UFC finally pull the trigger on running an event in his native Scotland.
“I would absolutely love it,” Craig said. “We’ve got myself, Joanne [Wood]. We’ll get Chris Duncan. We’ve got Casey O’Neill. We’ve got a whole host of Scottish fighters. They would sell out the Hydro and I would love to be a main event in the Hydro. I’ve been in the co-main once in my life. I’ve never been a main event and I believe I can sell out the Hydo on the back of Paul Craig as a middleweight.”
As for when he would like to get back inside the Octagon, Craig suggested that he’ll be ready to go right away. The UFC just needs to pick up the phone and make the call.
“As soon as possible. I love this sport. I’m not injured. I got a bloody nose, that’s about it. A couple of little scratches on my elbow, but as soon as the UFC gives me a call and says, ‘Listen, Paul, you’re fighting X Y, and Z, I’ll be there.'”
Paul Craig moved to 9-6-1 inside the Octagon, and 17-6-1 overall with his win over Muniz. He’s 2-2 in his last four with the previous three fights going down at 205. Considering his impressive performance at middleweight, one would assume the promotion will look to keep him at 185 for the time being.