Alonzo Menifield kept his record perfect and improved to 9-0 at UFC Minneapolis, knocking out Paul Craig in the first round.
Two-time winner on the Dana White Contender Series, three-time winner in Legacy Fighting Alliance, and even tallying a win in Bellator MMA in his professional debut, Alonzo Menifield had quite the undefeated eight-fight resumé. The light heavyweight contender added the UFC to that list in January, earning a first-round finish in his promotion debut. He had another tough test at UFC Minneapolis, fighting the most experienced opponent of his career.
That man was Paul Craig. Craig has competed in the UFC six times in his career, going 3-3 while fighting some tough opponents. His three losses have come at the hands of Tyson Pedro, Khalil Rountree, and Jimmy Crute. Craig seems to be on the rise though, going 2-1 in his last three bouts. Both of his wins were by submission (triangle choke) in the third round, earning him Performance of the Night bonuses on both occasions.
Menifield began the fight with a couple of aggressive strikes, forcing Craig against the cage early in round one. Craig pulled guard for a second, but quickly gave up on the venture, as the fight moved back to the feet in the center of the ring. Once there, Craig worked hard for a takedown attempt, but Menifield was able to escape. After some exchanges from range, Craig was able to force Menifield against the cage, but was once again unable to get the fight to the ground.
Craig had been throwing a variety of high kicks throughout the round, and attempted back-to-back spinning head kicks. He somewhat landed the first. But, after missing the second, due to Menifield dodging it with ease, Craig ate a huge right hand after falling to the ground. He was in deep trouble. Menifield landed a couple more big rights with Craig out on the ground, forcing the referee to step in.
Alonzo Menifield def. Paul Craig via KO (punches) in Round 1 (3:19)
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 30, 2019