Paul Craig: Lay of The Land

With his name in the history books, Paul Craig signs a new four-fight deal

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It was announced yesterday across various media outlets that Scotland’s own “Bearjew” Paul Craig had signed a new 4 fight contract with the UFC after his incredible, literal, last second submission win in his bout at UFC London against Magomed Ankalaev. What was perhaps most notable about the new contract was how “big” a story it was in the MMA media…

If you’re reading this article, on a Scottish MMA dedicated website, then you saw the finish – that much is obvious. However, due to the nature of the submission, anyone who reads ANY MMA site has read about it. The finish was one of the biggest stories coming out of UFC London and means that Bearjew is now a known commodity to all MMA fans; not just hardcore fans or those who follow the Scottish MMA scene.

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And that’s important; how often do you see all the big MMA sites reporting on a contract extension for a 2-2 fighter who just fought on the undercard of a Fight Pass card? Never. Paul is a star now, a known name and that also helps with job security.

The thrilling finish literally changed the scope of Paul’s entire career – had Ankalaev survived the extra second; Paul would be on a 3 fight losing streak and has he has admitted himself, would be out of the UFC. Retirement has been mentioned by some respected news outlets were that to happen. Instead, he is now a known name, with an extra 50 thousand dollars in his pocket, and has excellent job security.

Paul is an exciting fighter – in 12 fights he has never gone the distance. Both of his UFC wins were bonus winning performances. Exciting fighters have more job security. Paul is a popular fighter – as discussed; 2-2 fighters don’t often get the level of attention that Paul has been getting – even before the finish. Popular fighters have more job security.

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Paul has a great record in a shallow division. Paul is 10-2 overall and in a division that isn’t very deep; light heavyweights and heavyweights always have more job security than more “stacked divisions” like welterweight.

So rather than just report on the contract extension and the finish, we wanted to look at how things look for Bearjew in his career – and they look pretty damn good. Looking at the history of the UFC, even if the absolute worst were to happen in his next fights, he likely has at least 3 guaranteed fights in the UFC, which as we have seen with other Scottish fighters, is not a luxury afforded to everyone.

It’s a good time to be Bearjew and we look forward to watching how the next chapter unfolds

Don Wilson

Writer/founder for @FightTalkScot, MMA Fan, Amateur Fighter, Geek and a bit of a good guy.

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