Paul Craig didn’t have to go through much punishment before submitting Vinicius Moreira, which isn’t his style. It was a quick first-round finish for the Scottish fighter at UFC Mexico City.
Paul Craig entered the UFC as the BAMMA light heavyweight champion and was known for his impressive grappling skills considering his large frame. “Bear Jew” earned a Performance of the Night bonus in his debut with a second-round submission, but went on to lose his next two fights. He’s alternated wins and losses since then, notching a pair of come-from-behind third-round submissions.
Since winning on the Contender Series in 2018 and earning a contract, Moreira has had a tough schedule in the UFC. The Brazilian has faced heavy-handed light heavyweights Alonzo Menifield and Eryk Anders so far, losing by first-round KO against both.
Paul Craig secured a quick takedown on Moreira, getting into full guard. Moreira swept him with a triangle choke, allowing him to break free. On the way up, Moreira shot for a takedown, but Craig caught him, and blasted him with several knees that dropped the Brazilian. Craig landed several punches along the fence on his seated opponent, then sprawled on a takedown. Craig spun to Moreira’s back then sunk in a rear-naked choke to get the finish.
— UFC (@ufc) September 21, 2019
It was a much-needed win for Craig, who had not had a dominant performance since his promotional debut in 2016. Despite being 2-4 since then, Craig was losing in his two victories prior to third round submissions. He expressed how much he needed this victory and in this fashion, saying he was worried about getting cut with a loss.
Paul Craig def. Vinicius Moreira by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 1 (3:19)