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Volkan Oezdemir was able to fend off Paul Craig’s submission attempts and make him pay.
Oezdemir (18-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC), the former title challenger, defeated Paul Craig (16-5-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) via unanimous decision, snapping “The Bear Jew’s” impressive unbeaten streak.
The light heavyweight bout opened up the UFC Fight Night 208 main card at The O2 in London.
Craig had Oezdemir in some early trouble with a leg lock, but Oezdemir managed to escape. That didn’t scare the Swiss fighter from following him to the ground straight after though as Craig continued to attack his limbs. Oezdemir eventually broke free and Craig continued to try and lure him to the ground. Oezdemir appeared to drop Craig on multiple occasions, but it looked like Craig may have been trying to drag him back down to his comfort zone.
In Round 2, Craig threw a high kick, which Oezdemir caught and used to throw him on the ground. Oezdemir was wise not to follow him on the ground. Craig was finding success on the feet with some flurries, but his takedown at the end of his sequence was stuffed once again. The threat of the takedown was opening up Craig’s striking, but another failed Craig takedown resulted in Oezdemir attacking from top position momentarily, before asking Craig to stand back up. Oezdemir cracked Craig with a few more shots to end the round strong.
Oezdemir started Round 3 by making Craig pay with some heavy ground and pound as Craig tried to latch onto his arm. Oezdemir continued to do a good job of avoiding any danger on the ground as Craig started to let his hands go. Craig tried pulling guard multiple times, but Oezdemir was too smart and too sharp on the night, winning all three rounds for the unanimous decision win.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 208 results include:
Ludovit Klein def. Mason Jones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Marc Diakiese def. Damir Hadzovic via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jonathan Pearce def. Makwan Amirkhani via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:10
Muhammad Mokaev def. Charles Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jai Herbert def. Kyle Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Victoria Leonardo def. Mandy Bohm via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nicolas Dalby def. Claudio Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 208.