Saturday marks Craig’s sophomore appearance at middleweight, but the Scottish finisher made a sharp impression in his divisional debut, smashing through Andre Muniz in London to announce his arrival and halt a two-fight skid. He’s big for the division, continues to sharpen his striking skills, and has been in there with a host of top-end light heavyweight talent, which makes him a real wild card now that he’s joined the 185-pound ranks.
There is the potential for this to be a high-level grappling match, as both Allen and Craig do their best work on the canvas, with the added wrinkle being that the Scotsman is slick off his back, and therefore might be accepting of takedowns. Allen should have an edge on the feet in terms of the diversity and fluidity of his striking, but Craig can crack, so wherever this plays out, we should get a competitive battle to close out the show.
Next year is going to be an interesting one in the middleweight division, especially with the title on the line to close out UFC 297 in Toronto, so a big performance and quality win for either man should position them for another showdown with a ranked opponent and a chance to keep climbing the divisional ladder in the opening quarter of 2024.