The UFC returns to the Apex center in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend for a big middleweight main event clash between Brendan Allen and Paul Craig at UFC Vegas 82.
Allen comes into the fight on a five-fight win streak as he looks to climb the rankings towards a potential future title shot, while Craig won his first middleweight bout last time out after dropping down from light heavyweight for a final charge at a potential championship run.
We’ll take a look at the main event and provide you with our best free UFC picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash while watching an incredible fight card.
UFC Vegas 82 Brendan Allen-360-360-325Paul Craig+295+260+260
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UFC Vegas 82 information
Saturday, November 18th 2023
UFC Apex Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Main card starts at 17:00 ET
Middleweight bout (186-pounds limit)
5 x 5 minute rounds
Brendan Allen vs Paul Craig
A very intriguing fight in the middleweight division takes place this weekend, in a clash of two very different styles.
Allen is on a super impressive five-fight win streak, winning seven of his last eight fights to take his professional record to 22-5 with 13 submissions and five knockout wins.
After submitting Karl Roberson and earning a decision win over Punahele Soriano, Allen was knocked out impressively by Chris Curtis back in December 2021. Since then however he has gone on a fine run of victories, with four of them coming via rear-naked choke.
He submitted Sam Alvey in a short-notice light heavyweight fight in a dominant performance, before returning to middleweight and earning a fine decision win over Jacob Malkoun at UFC 275. He then followed that up with three consecutive submission wins stopping Krzysztof Jotko, Andre Muniz and Bruno Silva most recently to set up this fight and earn himself a top ten ranking in the division.
Craig on the other hand was on a tear up at light heavyweight with a six-fight undefeated run after defeating Vinicius Moreira, Gadzhimurad Antigulov, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Jamahal Hill and Nikita Krylov, alongside a draw with Shogun too.
But back-to-back defeats against Volkan Oezdemir and then a knockout against Johnny Walker saw Scotland’s Craig opt to move down in weight to 185-pounds, where he earned a TKO win over Andre Muniz in his debut in the weight class last time out.
That took his professional record to 17-6-1 with 13 submission wins and four knockouts, meaning he has a 100% finish rate.
Route to victory
While both of these fighters are absolutely excellent ground specialists with tremendous submission skills, they both look to get there via very different means.
Allen is a technical kickboxer with very strong range management and great kicks, but it’s his wrestling that stands out at his best attribute. He has very good ability to close the distance quickly and take fighters down, before controlling them and looking to open up opportunities for submissions with ground and pound.
On the other hand though, Craig is one of the most feared Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in the entire world and is known to look to close the distance and pull guard which will see him accept bottom position to use his fearsome and aggressive guard to latch on to any mistakes.
But if he pulls guard against Allen he will be in danger himself against a top competitor, which makes this a really difficult fight for him to win. On the feet he is completely outmatched, but he will have a pretty good size edge in which he can use his physicality. His best bet may be to try and end up in a top position via scrambles or trips from the clinch, where he can then work his jiu-jitsu which has passed every test it’s come up against in the UFC.
Allen will likely use his striking far more in this bout, keeping distance between the two and using his speed and power to land big shots, but he must stay very alert and not get sucked into a battle of ego on the ground.
to beat Brendan Allen
Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.
UFC Picks: Allen gets it done @ -325
If this fight hits the ground, Craig has every chance of getting the win. His submissions skills are absolutely outrageous and he is able to cinch things up so quickly that it means you simply can’t make a single mistake during the fight with him.
But Allen is very capable on the ground himself if it does get there to be able to keep himself safe for as long as he needs to, and on the feet it will be him who is controlling the fight and tempo and how the fight goes.
Expect the American fighter to simply keep the distance and land pot shots from the outside and avoid any tangles to earn a decision on the judge’s scorecards, in a fight that probably won’t be the most exciting simply because of the danger both guys are in if they get too close to each other.
to beat Paul Craig
Check out our review for Bovada sports betting here.