UFC London: Volkan Oezdemir Stalls Craig’s Ground Game, Takes Decision

Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir, UFC London
Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir, UFC London Ceremonial Weigh-In, July 22, 2022 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

London, UK – Light heavyweights Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir kicked off the UFC London main card on Saturday, and the path to victory for both was obvious.

Craig would look to catch Oezdemir, a former title challenger, with a submission. Should the opportunity to lure “No Time” into his triangle, which had caught so many past opponents arise, you could be sure Craig would take it. For Oezdemir, the path to victory was more than likely on the feet — it was a matter of who could implement their game plan.

Round one Oezdemir came out with the pressure looking to land the big shot, but got pulled into Craig’s guard early. Oezdemir fought to get away twice and was able to, but Craig continued to fight to get “No Time” to the ground and did for a moment threatening a heel hook but was not successful. After a few moments on the feet Craig shot in and got the fight to the ground constantly threatening submissions. After not finding much success on the ground Craig stood with Oezdemir for the rest of the round.

Round two was a dance between Craig pulling guard and Oezdemir getting to his feet and forcing him to stand. “No Time” continued to try and set Craig up for a shot, but Paul continued to pull guard repeatedly. Craig would stand and trade with Oezdemir to bait him into getting close for a guard pull but nothing came of it. At this point one had to start thinking of how this would be scored.

Round three was more of the same from the second round and Oezdemir was not about to entertain a ground fight with Craig. Craig continued to pull guard repeatedly in between short bursts of trading with Oezdemir. Round ended on the feet.

Official Result: Volkan Oezdemir def. Paul Craig via UD (30-27×3)