UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

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Paul Craig, bottom, applies an arm bar on Luiz Henrique da Silva during the second round of a UFC Fight Night.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 16, 2023, 7:16 PM
  • Two ranked middleweight contenders, Brendan Allen and Paul Craig, headline the main event of UFC’s fight card this weekend.
  • Allen is the betting favorite at -450.
  • Craig is the betting underdog at +333.

UFC is returning home to Las Vegas as their upcoming fight card will be held inside the APEX Center. Two ranked middleweight contenders, Brendan Allen (22-5) and Paul Craig (17-6-1), are in the main event. Allen is ranked higher than Craig as the No. 10 contender in the 185 division, while Craig sits at the 13th spot.

This is one of the reasons why Allen (-450) is the betting favorite in UFC odds. Another reason is that Allen is riding a five-fight winning streak heading into the match, and Craig, who is the +333 underdog, is coming off a bounce-back victory to snap his two-fight skid.

Brendan Allen Recent Fight Results

Before signing with the UFC, Allen was a former LFA champion who was able to defend his belt. His route to the Las Vegas-based promotion was through the contender series in July 2019, where he scored a submission victory over Aaron Jeffrey in the opening round to earn his place on the roster. Since then, he’s only lost twice.

The 27-year-old American made a successful debut in October 2019 by submitting Kevin Holland in the second round of their match. Following that successful first fight, Allen picked up nine wins in his next 11 fights, beating Kyle Daukaus, Sam Alvey, Andre Muniz, and Bruno Silva along the way.

Paul Craig Recent Fight Results

Craig was a former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion when he was signed by the UFC in 2016. He made a winning debut against Henrique da Silva with a second-round submission. From that point on, Craig went 8-6-1 in his next 15 fights in the promotion.

The 35-year-old scored wins against Magomed Ankalaev, Kennedy Nzechukwu, Vinicius Moreira, Jamahal Hill, Maurício Rua, Nikita Krylov, and Muniz. His losses were courtesy of Tyson Pedro, Khalil Rountree Jr., Jimmy Crute, Volkan Oezdemir, and Johnny Walker. Craig wants to get another victory for a chance to be part of the top-10 rankings of the division and potentially go on a title run.

Brendan Allen vs. Paul Craig: Tale of the Tape

Brendan AllenPaul Craig
Age2735
Height6’3”6’2”
Reach75 inches76 inches
Leg Reach42 inches43 inches
Record22-517-6-1
Fighting StyleBrazilian Jiu-JitsuBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Finishing Rate77%100%

Brendan Allen vs. Paul Craig: Fight Analysis

Looking at the tale of the tape, Craig has a slim advantage against Allen, as he has an inch of reach and leg reach upper hand, while the latter is an inch taller than the former. There are two glaring differences between the two. Craig is eight years older than Allen and has a 100% finish rate compared to his 77% rate.

Stylistically, both are great grapplers due to their immense background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This translates into a high submission percentage, with Allen having 59% of his wins via submission and Craig holding 76%. Continuing in the grappling numbers, both have an almost identical submission average per 15 minutes, with 1.63 for Allen and 1.67 for Craig.

The American has better takedown accuracy and defense at 42% and 55% compared to Craig’s 23% and 42%. However, the Scottish has a slightly better takedown average per 15 minutes, with 1.91 against Allen’s 1.22. With an almost equal output in grappling, their striking will be the primary catalyst for this match.

Allen holds the most advantage with better significant strikes landed per minute and percentage of 3.96 and 53%, in contrast to Craig’s 2.57 and 46%. Craig, though, has a better defense of only absorbing 2.85 significant strikes per minute against Allen’s 3.89. Both athletes have a similar defensive rate of 46%.

With better production in the stand-up game, Allen should force Craig to strike with him instead of fighting for submission maneuvers because his striking game is superior. It will serve as the ultimate difference-maker in this fight due to the similarity in their fighting styles that are heavily based on BJJ.

Allen’s chance of winning the fight is higher if he chooses to stand and trade strikes with Craig because he has the capability and power to finish him, and Craig has way more experience in grappling. Meanwhile, Craig should force the match to an early grappling battle, as he easily transitions to a lightning-quick submission maneuver, much like he did against his other opponents.

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Brendan Allen.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.