Sleeper fight of the week: Paul Craig vs. Andre Muniz

Sleeper fight of the week: Paul Craig vs. Andre Muniz

Jordan Lopez|
July 21, 2023|

On July 22, the UFC returns to London for the second UK event of the year and the fourth UK event in the previous 18 months. United Kingdom's own Tom Aspinall will make his comeback fight as he faces Marcin Tybura at The O2. In another exciting clash, Molly McCann of Liverpool will compete against Lithuania's Julija Stoliarenko. There are a lot of great fights on this card, and there is one specific fight that is going under the radar.

The sleeper fight resides at Middleweight as Andre Muniz will welcome Paul Craig to the 185 lbs division. Let's take a deeper dive into why this fight is the sleeper fight of the week.

Paul Craig vs. Andre Muniz - Middleweight Bout

Paul Craig (16-6-1), who had been on a 5-0-1 run that included a quick knockout of eventual champion Jamahal Hill, is currently on just his second two-fight losing streak of his career. After losing to Volkan Oezdemir and Johnny Walker, Craig took the challenge of cutting 20 more pounds to make Middleweight.

Since working with the UFC Performance Institute (UFC PI), he told the media this week that the professionals there made the job "achievable" to make the Middleweight cut. When it was time to weigh in, Craig stepped on the scale and officially weighed 186 lbs.

The submission specialist will have an arduous task as Andre Muniz will be his opponent for his Middleweight debut. What makes this fight interesting is the style these two men bring into the octagon.

Muniz, who is a third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, just suffered the first-ever submission loss of his career against Brendan Allen. That loss ended an impressive nine-fight winning streak. Going into this bout, Muniz has 15 of his 23 professional wins via submission. He would love to add to his total this weekend, but Craig is also known for his ground game.

Craig is known as one of the more dangerous submission threats in the UFC, as 13 of his 16 professional wins are via submission. One of his more famous fights was against Hill when he first broke his arm via armbar yet got the TKO victory. Craig has earned six performance bonuses just off his submission wins and would look to add another against Muniz.

Fans can expect a fun, grapple-heavy bout between Muniz and Craig. Both fighters will be active on the ground, hunting for their submissions and trying to finish the fight. Fights like this can make fans enjoy MMA's grappling side more because the two fighters are specialists in that department. It's what Craig and Muniz are known for, as both fighters look to put on a show.

Will Muniz return to his winning ways, or will Craig have a successful Middleweight debut? Let us know in the comments who will win in our sleeper fight of the week!

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