Craig (16-4-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) scored yet another incredible finish when he rallied to submit Nikita Krylov this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 204 in London and thinks a matchup with Smith is the fight to make.
Smith (36-16 MMA, 11-6 UFC) himself owns an array of slick submissions, forcing two of his past three opponents to tap out. But if the pair were to square off, Craig likes his chances.
“Everybody in the top 10 has an outstanding jiu-jitsu game, and they have an outstanding striking game and wrestling game,” Craig told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC Fight Night 204 post-fight news conference. “You need to be all-around to be in this game. You can’t have one thing unless you’re the ‘Bearjew.’ All you need is that Bearjew-jitsu, and if you’ve got that, then you can go to the top and you can be the champ. Do I think Anthony Smith’s got good jiu-jitsu? Yes. Is it better than mine? I don’t think so.
“He’s not as hungry as me and he’s not putting himself in danger to get submissions. I hunt for submissions and in that fight there was times where people must have thought, ‘That’s a rear-naked choke,’ right, it wasn’t a rear-naked choke. ‘That triangle’s nearly in, ohhh.’ That’s what I do. It’s like telling a story. If the story I tell you is I wake up in the morning and I go through my day and I wake up and I go to bed, that’s not a very exciting story. What I do is this (points up and down). That’s the sport. The sport is about entertainment, and I believe I entertain people when I step into that octagon.”
Smith was quick to respond and the former title challenger is game to throw down with Craig.
“Ankalaev, Craig…whoever. The answer is yes. Always yes. It’s not me that you have to convince.”
Ankalaev, Craig…whoever. The answer is yes. Always yes. It’s not me that you have to convince. https://t.co/ZKVORcrUBt
— Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith) March 19, 2022
Paul Craig def. Nikita Krylov at UFC Fight Night 204: Best photos
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