The UFC is back in Las Vegas after a trip to New York last weekend, so NYFights is back with an Allen vs Craig prediction where two of the best submission artists on the roster go head-to-head in the main event.
This will be Craig's second bout at middleweight after 15 fights at light heavyweight under the UFC banner. The Scot won his first battle at 185 lbs against Andre Muniz earlier this year to rocket himself into #13 in the middleweight rankings.
With 26 submissions across 51 fights between these two men, let's take a look at NYFights' Brendan Allen vs Paul Craig prediction where both men eye up a spot in the top 10.
UFC Fight Night 232: Brendan Allen vs Paul Craig Prediction
Brendan Allen Preview
As one of the brightest rising stars in the middleweight rankings, Allen sits with a record of 22 wins and five losses and a five-fight win streak since his loss to Chris Curtis back in late 2021. In fact, that loss to Curtis and a defeat to the current middleweight champion, Sean Strickland, is all that is on Allen's UFC record in terms of losses.
The American has been one of the most active fighters in the UFC since his sensational debut win over the impressive Kevin Holland back in 2019. 11 more fights have since followed, including a win at light heavyweight over Sam Alvey and submissions over the likes of Karl Roberson, Krzysztof Jotko and Bruno Silva.
Allen has been a black belt in jiu-jitsu for for a few years now, and he has even managed to win his past three fights via a rear-naked choke. Alongside his sensational résumé in the submission world, he has also managed to rack up five KO/TKO wins, including one over Tom Breese back in 2020 in the final 13 seconds of the first round. On the other hand, two of his five losses have been via KO/TKO too, as Strickland and Curtis forced the stoppage.
For NYFights' Allen vs Craig prediction for the American, if he is to win, it heads for another submission win. His best bet in this fight is to get into a grappling exchange with Craig and work his way to forcing the Scot to make an error after winning the fight on the feet.
Paul Craig Preview
Just like Allen, Craig's most likely route to a victory is via submission, as both men have secured 13 submissions each from their careers, with five of those coming in the UFC for Craig and the other eight within his first nine fights in professional MMA. In truth, given how Glover Teixeira recently retired and how most within the top 15 of the light heavyweight rankings favor striking, Craig was probably the best submission artist at 205 lbs.
The 35-year-old has racked up some famous submissions in his time in the UFC, and after yet another Performance of the Night win over Andre Muniz on his middleweight debut back in July, he has now recorded the second most Performance of the Night bonuses in UFC history with eight.
In the past five years, Craig has been the has been the only man to defeat the former light heavyweight title contender, Magomed Ankalaev, stunningly beating the Russian in the final second of a three-round fight with another one of his famous triangle chokes.
The black belt is also the only man to defeat the recent light heavyweight king, Jamahal Hill, snapping his arm in half before a TKO finish via punches. In fact, Craig has only gone the distance twice in his career, as he draw with Shogun Rua before a loss to Volkan Oezdemir on points last year. This puts him on a 100% finish ratio within his 17 wins, 76% of which have been via submissions and the other 34% via KO/TKO.
Needless to say, in his first-ever UFC five-round fight, NYFights' Allen vs Craig prediction heads for another finish inside the distance.
Allen vs Craig Prediction: Who Will Tap First?
There are no prizes for those who guess where NYFights' Brendan Allen vs Paul Craig prediction is heading at this UFC Fight Night.
In total, 26 wins of the of 39 victories between these two have ended via submission, with a split of 13 each. In fact, from the 51 fights these two have been involved in, only eight have gone the distance, so there's no surprise to see odds of -800 for the fight to not go to the judges' scorecards. What's more, the fight to end with submission number #14 for either man sits at +140, while the odds are at -105 for the bout to be ended via KO/TKO.
As the rounds go on, more grappling exchanges will happen. Craig is far from the most comfortable man on the feet, and even in his TKO wins against Rua, Muniz and Hill during his UFC career, all three of them have been via ground strikes at the end of a grappling exchange, as opposed to finishing them on the feet.
Allen is much more comfortable in the standup department, and his efforts in striking give him the edge in this fight. However, ultimately, NYFights predicts the fight to be decided on a grappling exchange at some stage during the fight, as one fighter makes the slightest error that leads to a tap.