A clash of ranked light heavyweight contenders has been booked for the UFC‘s return to England’s capital.
The promotion has announced that a fight between the #9-ranked Nikita Krylov (26-8) and the #11-ranked Paul Craig (15-4-1) has been added to a stacked UFC London card, set to go down inside the city’s O2 Arena on March 19.
Returning to fight in the UK for the first time since his 2018 triangle choke submission victory over Magomed Ankalaev, Scotland’s Craig will be hoping to continue his rise towards contention by extending his win streak to four at UFC London.
Since a knockout loss to powerhouse Alonzo Menifield in 2019, “Bearjew” has found the form of his life. After returning to the win column against Vinicius Moreira, Craig fought to a split draw against Maurício Rua, before securing a wins against Gadzhimurad Antigulov, “Shogun,” and, most recently, Jamahal Hill.
Craig jumped towards the top 10 last time out by brutally dislocating the elbow of the previously-unbeaten Hill at UFC 263 in June. After failed matchups with Alexander Gustafsson in September and Krylov in December prevented a second appearance in 2021, the Scot will look to continue his winning ways against the latter in their re-arranged bout in less than two months’ time.
Joining the likes of Alexander Volkov, Dan Hooker, Timur Valiev, and Makwan Amirkhani as one of the international athletes hoping to spoil a homecoming at UFC London will be Ukraine’s Krylov. “The Minor” has exchanged wins and losses in his last five appearances.
While he fell to defeats against former champion Jan Blachowicz, reigning light heavyweight king Glover Teixeira, and Ankalaev, the 29-year-old had his hand raised versus Ovince Saint Preux and Johnny Walker.
While Krylov will be looking to rebound from his defeat to Ankalaev last February, Craig will need to find success at UFC London if he hopes to uphold his desire of a late push up the rankings and potential retirement by the end of the year.
Listed below are the fights currently expected to go down on March 19 in London, England:
Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall (heavyweight main event)
Dan Hooker vs. Arnold Allen (featherweight)
Paul Craig vs. Nikita Krylov (light heavyweight)
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Sergei Pavlovich (heavyweight)
Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev (bantamweight)
Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas (lightweight)
Nathanial Wood vs. Liudvik Sholinian (bantamweight)
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Grundy (featherweight)
Molly McCann vs. Luana Carolina (women’s flyweight)
Cody Durden vs. Muhammad Mokaev (flyweight)
Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento (flyweight)
Cory McKenna vs. Elise Reed (women’s strawweight)
Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC London, Paul Craig or Nikita Krylov?