Last night, on the undercard of the UFC’s return to London, England, Scottish light heavyweight Paul Craig return to the Octagon opposite Russia’s Magomed Ankalaev.
To say Craig had his back against the wall in this fight would be an understatement. After debuting in the Octagon with a first-round armbar of Henrique da Silva, Craig suffered back-to-back, first-round stoppage losses at the hands of Tyson Pedro and Khalil Rountree. In a matter of months, he’d tumbled from the ranks of the UFC’s most promising light heavyweight prospects to the undesirable company of fighters at risk of losing their jobs. As if the stakes weren’t already high enough, Craig’s London bout with Ankalaev also marked the final fight on his UFC contract, meaning a loss would almost certainly result in his being dropped by the promotion.
For 14 minutes and 53 seconds of his 15-minute fight with Ankalaev, it looked like Paul Craig was screwed. Not only was he soundly out-struck by his Russian opponent, but he was also neutralized on the mat, which deprived him of opportunities to work with the jiu-jitsu the got him to the dance in the first place.
Then, with about seven seconds remaining in the fight, mushed up against the cage on his back, Craig threw his leg up and over Ankalaev’s shoulders to apply a hail Mary triangle choke. With one-second left in the final round of the fight, Ankalaev tapped, and Craig had earned himself the career-saving win.
Unsurprisingly, Craig’s incredible, final second win, which ranks amongst the greatest comebacks in MMA history, generated some great reactions from the MMA community. Here are some of the best reactions:
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) March 17, 2018
What a great last second 1 by Paul Craig
— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) March 17, 2018
@PCraigmma WHAT. THE. F***
— Brett Johns (@36Johns) March 17, 2018
— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) March 17, 2018
32 hundredths of a second. In a justifiable 30-26 fight. That comeback by Paul Craig was unreal.
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 17, 2018
That was the most insane comeback I've ever seen. #UFCLondon
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) March 17, 2018
What did you think of Paul Craig’s insane, come-from-behind win in London?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/18/2018.