Beef Buried: Paul Craig Says Stevie Ray Is ‘Hands Down The Best Scottish Fighter’
Light heavyweight Paul Craig will be looking to get back into the win column at UFC Fight Night London on March 17 and it will be a big moment for Scottish MMA as he looks to extend his run in the organization.
Craig has lost two on the bounce following defeats to Tyson Pedro and Khalil Rountree and he knows that one more loss could spell the end of his UFC tenure. Speaking to MMANytt.com earlier today, Craig admitted he was drinking in the last chance saloon, but denied that it would be the end of Scottish MMA’s success in the organization.
“One of the things about the UFC is that they don’t carry dead weight and believe me, I’m well aware of that heading into this fight which I know is do or die for me,” Craig said. “If I’m not winning or putting in a performance why would they keep me? The UFC is a business and they will run it like one.
“Danny Henry is one the card and I know he’s going to put on a big performance. I don’t think this is the end of Scottish MMA. We’ve got so many guys coming through who are ready to make the big transition in. Regardless of whatever happens with me, Stevie and Joanne.”
Craig’s longtime feud with fellow countryman Stevie Ray has been played out in the public eye, but it would appear now that the two have buried the hatched. With Ray sitting on the sidelines awaiting a new fight contract, Craig said he wishes him all the best and that he even thinks Ray is the best Scottish fighter in the UFC.
“I 100-percent think and hope Stevie will be signed again,” Craig said. “I spoke to Stevie regarding this on social media and we’ve had a few private conversations on social media.
“For me, Stevie is the best Scottish fighter we’ve got, hands down. He’s beaten two of the top names in the UFC. I just hope he gets something.”
With the beef now settled, Craig said he thinks Ray doesn’t deserve to be anywhere else but fighting in the UFC. As a family man himself, Craig relates to what it must feel like not knowing if you’re getting a new contract or not.
“It is buried,” Craig said. “When it comes to this sport, there’s not a massive window and you’re not expected to do this sport forever. The last thing I want to do is see Stevie Ray fighting in any other organisation than the UFC.
“He messaged me and I messaged him back. He apologized and I apologized. It’s water under the bridge. Because we were in the UFC, people were interested to see it happen. Now that he’s not in the UFC I want to see him do well. He’s got a family and the last thing I want to see him to do is fighting on some other show. He deserves to be in the UFC.”
UFC London takes place on March 17 at the London O2 Arena. Craig takes on Russian newcomer Magomed Ankalaev.