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17th Mar 2018

Scottish fighter rallies to snatch spectacular submission right at the death

Those at UFC London were treated to some late drama

Darragh Murphy

Paul Craig was just biding his time.

Craig was almost certainly about to see his opponent’s hand raised for the third consecutive fight when he dug very, very deep.

At the very death of an exhausting back-and-forth bout, during which the debuting Magomed Ankalaev enjoyed the better of several exchanges, Craig could well have kept his job with one final throw of the dice.

The UFC has a habit of parting ways with fighters on losing skids and had Craig gone 0-3 in his three most recent outings, he may have been forced to look for employment elsewhere.

But when he heard the ten-second clacker ring out around London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, ‘Bearjew’ just went for it.

From full guard, Craig grabbed a hold of the previously undefeated Ankalaev’s wrists and threw his hips up.

The Airdrie native cinched up a tight triangle choke and squeezed with every remaining ounce of energy he had in him.

And with one second left in the entire fight and the judges preparing to hand over their scorecards, Craig took the decision out of their hands and forced the dramatic tap from Ankalaev.

“It was a fucking sweet submission,” Craig said in his post-fight interview.

As was remarked in commentary shortly after Craig earned his first win since 2016, the Scottish light heavyweight’s submission was the latest in a three-round fight in UFC history.

Dare we say shades of Anderson Silva?