Paul Craig has the chance to add a longtime contender to his hit list.
The UFC announced Thursday that Craig (16-4-1) will fight Volkan Oezdemir (17-6) in a light heavyweight bout at the UFC’s upcoming return to London on July 23.
Craig — No. 12 at 205 pounds in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — is currently on a four-fight win streak and has gone 5-0-1 in his past six outings. After fighting to a split draw against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in November 2019, the Scottish standout has finished his past four opponents with only one making out of the opening round.
In his most recent fight in London this past March, Craig defeated Nikita Krylov by first-round submission via a triangle choke.
The No. 15-ranked Oezdemir competes for the first time in 2022. In October, he dropped a unanimous decision to Magomed Ankalaev that sent him to his second straight loss and his fifth in his past seven fights. Oezdemir is a one-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, having unsuccessfully challenged Daniel Cormier for the belt at UFC 220 in January 2018.
UFC London takes place at The O2. Top 10 heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall are scheduled to compete in the main event.