Paul Craig is not a man to play on the floor with and he proved it at UFC 263.
The Scotsman faced unbeaten and booming Jermahal Hill at light and heavyweights and Craig broke his arm in the first round with a hellish armband.
The Bearjew are now undefeated in their last five fights and are 15-4 overall following their success as an underdog at UFC 263, but many felt the referee could have called the contest earlier.
Craig fell onto his back and invited the ground play to which Hill duly forced himself. As soon as Hill got closer, Craig’s cross-country play took over as he trapped the arm and got down to business.
Once he rolled and bent Hill’s arm around his hip, Craig knew he had broken and signaled to the referee that the damage was done.
However, despite the pain, Hill refused to type and stayed in position. At that point, Craig started raining elbows as Hill’s arm slumped to the side.
Eventually, the referee stepped in and Craig took the win via TKO. Despite the bad blood during the weigh-in earlier in the fight week, the pair hugged after the fight and Hill even found the strength to back Bruce Buffer for the decision, with fans taking a good look at his sickening broken arm.
Craig paid tribute to Hill’s tenacity after the fight and now the 33-year-old, previously ranked 14th at 205 pounds, must have his eyes on the top 10.
Names like Johnny Walker, Jiri Prochazka, Dominik Reyes and, of course, champion Jan Blachowicz are all heavyweights in the division, but few, if any, will be able to match Craig on the pitch. He could turn out to be the bogeyman at this weight
It is understood that Hill was taken to a local medical facility right after his fight with Craig. It is not known if this is simply an elbow dislocation or if the arm was completely broken and will require surgery. talkSPORT will keep you updated on its status as details emerge.
Earlier in the night, Craig’s compatriot, Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood, did not have a chance to win the loss after missing Lauren Murphy by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) .
Calderwood nearly passed Murphy in the first round and appeared to have overshadowed the third, but after being outscored on ground in the second, the judges were swayed in Murphy’s favor.