UFC light heavyweight Paul Craig has given his take on 205-pound champion Glover Teixeira’s next defense against Jiří Procházka.
At the top of the light heavyweight division, two stories have gripped the MMA fanbase over the past year: Teixeira’s win streak and championship crowning at age 42, and Procházka’s brutal start to his UFC career.
Those two narratives are now set to collide in a crossroads at UFC 275 on June 11, where either the Brazilian’s once-unlikely reign will come to a crashing halt or the Czech’s promotional record will be handed its first blemish.
Given the way he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes in his debut and sophomore Octagon outings, it’s unsurprising that some expect Teixeira to have his hands full with Procházka, whose wild and unpredictable striking is reflected by the 25 KO wins on his résumé.
However, one man who sits on the other side of the debate is #11-ranked light heavyweight Paul Craig. At the UFC London post-fight press conference this past weekend, the Scotsman, who was interacting with the media following his victory on the preliminary card, assessed his division’s next championship clash.
“Bearjew” suggested Procházka doesn’t have what it takes to get past the experience and fight IQ of a veteran like Teixeira.
“The question is, does Glover get beat (by) Jiří? I don’t think so,” stated Craig. “I think Glover is too old in the tooth. He’s experienced, he’s been there, he’s done it, he’s been with the strikers, he’s been with the wild men. He has been in this sport for a long time. I don’t think Jiří’s got what it takes to beat him.”
Paul Craig Edged Closer To Teixeira & Procházka at UFC London
After opponent injuries and withdrawals meant he’d been stuck on the sidelines since his brutal victory against fast-rising contender Jamahal Hill last June, Craig was hoping to regain his momentum in England’s capital on March 19 when he entered the cage with UFC mainstay Nikita Krylov.
With “The Minor” battering Craig from top position early on, it appeared the Airdrie native was on his way to a first defeat in six fights. But as we learned at 2018’s London-held Fight Night, you can never count out Craig when he’s on his back.
Out of nowhere, “Bearjew” locked in a triangle choke and, as he did with the same submission against Magomed Ankalaev four years ago, had the fans in the O2 Arena on their feet.
With the win, Craig extended his unbeaten streak to six and will climb the ladder further towards the title conversation when the latest rankings update is released. Having called out Anthony Smith, it stands to reason a victory over “Lionheart” would move Craig to within touching distance of the light heavyweight gold.
Do you agree with Paul Craig’s assessment of Glover Teixeira vs. Jiří Procházka?