Krylov almost finished Craig with strikes early, only for the Scotsman to turn the tables with his lethal Jiu-Jitsu. In an edition of The Fight with Teddy Atlas podcast, widely-revered boxing trainer Teddy Atlas discussed Craig’s comeback against Krylov.
He compared Craig’s submission to the submissions that the Gracies – a family known as the pioneers of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) – were known for in the early days of the UFC. The Gracies, too, were masters at fighting off their backs, craftily dealing with their opponent’s ground and pound strikes, and eventually stopping them via submission. Atlas stated:
“It took me back to the Gracies; early, the infancy of UFC. How many years ago that is? 20, whatever it is, but I remember the great legendary Gracies. They’d be on the floor, doing the Jiu-Jitsu thing. And they’d be getting pounded and grounded, you thought it was over. And then all of a sudden, whop, it was over; except the Gracies had their legs wrapped around the guy’s neck and they submitted him. Well, that’s what I was reminded of with this Craig.”
Teddy Atlas drew parallels between Paul Craig’s submission skills and that of a python in the jungles of Africa. He lauded Craig for choking out his opponent like a python choking out its prey.
Furthermore, Atlas highlighted the suddenness of the Scottish MMA stalwart’s submission finishes and reiterated his admiration for his BJJ expertise. He also shed light upon Craig’s fortitude – for being able to wade through punishment in order to catch his opponent in a fight-ending submission.
Watch Teddy Atlas address Paul Craig’s incredible submission of Nikita Krylov in the video below:
Anthony Smith on Paul Craig’s call-out at UFC London
Following his impressive win over Nikita Krylov at UFC London, Paul Craig proceeded to call out former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith. ‘Bearjew’ called for a UFC main event spot against Smith – a five-round light heavyweight bout in Craig’s native Glasgow, Scotland.
Presently, Smith holds the No. 5 spot in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings, while Craig is ranked No. 8. ‘Lionheart’ took to Twitter and seemingly accepted Craig’s challenge. Responding to a tweet from MMA journalist Shaheen Al-Shatti, Smith asserted that he’s willing to face all comers, including light heavyweight rivals Magomed Ankalaev and Paul Craig. Smith tweeted:
“Ankalaev, Craig…whoever. The answer is yes. Always yes. It’s not me that you have to convince.”