#4 Paul Craig vs. Magomed Ankalaev – UFC Fight Night 127 – 03/17/2018
Arguably the most memorable knockout of 2018 came from Yair Rodriguez in the last second of his fight with Chan Sung Jung; back in March, we had an almost equally memorable submission at the same stage of the fight.
Scotland’s Paul Craig was coming into Fight Night 127 in dire need of a victory, having lost his previous 2 UFC outings, but for most of his fight with Magomed Ankalaev, it didn’t look like he’d get it.
The unbeaten Dagestani fighter – making his UFC debut – was simply far superior to Craig in all areas; on the feet, in the clinch and on the ground.
It looked like Ankalaev would coast to a unanimous decision as the fight ticked away in the third round, but with ten seconds to go, it turned out Craig wasn’t done. He threw up a desperation triangle choke, and incredibly, managed to synch the hold in.
Ankalaev attempted to muscle his way free of the choke but just couldn’t get free, and incredibly – with literally one second remaining in the fight – he was forced to tap out, giving Craig an inexplicable submission win. This was the absolute definition of snatching a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Not only was the submission one of the best of 2018, but it probably goes down as one of the all-time great UFC comebacks too, as Craig barely had a second of success in the fight beforehand. Rodriguez’s knockout might’ve gotten more plaudits, but Craig’s submission was arguably its equal, albeit in a different way.Published 15 Dec 2018, 19:15 IST