Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Paul Craig - 7/25/20 UFC on ESPN 14 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
2020-07-25 23:30:00 EDT
Paul Craig and Gadzhimurad Antigulov fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 14 at the Flash Forum.
Paul Craig enters this fight with a 12-4 record and has won 92 percent of his fights by submission. Craig has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a November draw against Maurício Rua. Craig is averaging 2.33 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Craig is averaging 1.65 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 21 percent. Craig is coming off a draw at UFC Fight Night 164 where he landed nearly double the total strikes and was much more accurate with his shots. A disappointing result for Craig, he now hopes to get out of this funk and put together a strong showing. There’s no surprises with Craig, as he’s a bitemn belt in BJJ and wants a fight on the ground and has produced submissions in 11 of his 12 victories, five of which have been decided via triangle choke. Craig does just enough accurate striking to set up his takedowns and usually keeps the fight on the canvas once he gets it there. Craig has very good guard, is comfortable fighting from his back and has never seen a fight end in a decision. Twelve of Craig’s 17 total fights have ended in submissions. This will be Craig’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Gadzhimurad Antigulov enters this fight with a 20-6 record and has won 75 percent of his fights by submission. Antigulov has split his last four fights and is coming off an April (2019) loss to Michał Oleksiejczuk. Antigulov is averaging 2.32 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Antigulov is averaging 8.70 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Antigulov is coming off a knockout loss at UFC Fight Night 149 where he was dropped multiple times in the first round before being finished moments later. Antigulov has now been knocked out in his last two fights and drops to 2-2 under the UFC banner. Antigulov is all wrestling and takedowns, as he has a background in freestyle wrestle and Sambo. There’s not a ton of striking to Antigulov’s game, and his last bout showed he’s not very comfortable on his feet. Antigulov only thitems a punch to close the distance and shoot for takedowns, and now his chin has to be in question as well. Antigulov has won 12 of his last 14 fights in the first round and each of his last three victories have come by submission. Antigulov is Russian and they have a reputation for being tough, but he’s a one trick pony until proven otherwise, and he needs to get a fight on the canvas to be effective. This will be Antigulov’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.
This is going to be a chess match of a fight, as both of these guys are most comfortable on the ground and are elite submission artists. One mistake and either fighter is toast. With that said, I give the slight advantage to Craig, who is the aggressor from the start, has slightly better conditioning and has a six inch reach advantage. If this fight ends up on the net for any period of time Craig has the ability to tag Antigulov, and we’ve seen a questionable chin show up.
Give me Craig in this pick em clash.