After spending the better part of the opening round underneath Nikita Krylov and eating punches, Craig surprised the Ukrainian light heavyweight with a triangle choke out of nowhere. As soon as the submission was locked in, Craig pulled down on the head to tighten the choke and Krylov was forced to tap out, with the end coming at 3:57 in the first round.
“This is an entertaining sport. Were you entertained?” Craig shouted afterward. “Do you remember Hulk Hogan? He used to get pummeled. That’s how I fight in the gym. That’s how I fight in the octagon. I managed to get him down into the ground, into my world.”
There was no feeling out process for either fighter as the light heavyweights came charging at each other as soon as the fight started, with Krylov securing a takedown to put Craig on the ground. From there, Krylov unloaded some nasty ground and pound from the top, blasting Craig with several stiff shots including a few backhanded hammer fists for good measure. There were moments where it appeared as if Craig might have been dazed, but he kept on surviving.
When Krylov finally tried to posture up to give himself more room to strike, Craig seized on the opening to immediately grab onto the triangle choke to trap his opponent. Craig had no intention of letting go until Krylov submitted — and that’s exactly how the fight ended.
The win moved Craig to 5-0-1 through his last six fights, highlighted by additional victories over Jamahal Hill and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Now Craig is looking for a step up in competition, as he called out a one-time UFC title challenger for his next fight.
“Glasgow, June, Anthony Smith,” Craig said. “Five rounds? You fancy it? Let’s make it happen!”