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It’s not every day that one squares off against a legend,
and that’s why Scotland’s Paul Craig
has made his training count in preparation for his upcoming bout
with former Pride and UFC champion Mauricio
“Shogun” Rua. Craig has been alternating wins and losses in his
Ultimate Fighting Championship tenure and a victory over Rua would
break the cycle. As they get ready for UFC Fight Night 164, here
are some numbers significant to their respective careers.
Age, height and arm reach
At 6-foot-4, Craig is three inches taller than Rua, though they
both have the same arm reach of 76 inches. In the age department,
the gap is considerably bigger, as the 37-year-old Rua will be
taking on the 31-year-old Craig.
When Craig made his pro debut on Aug. 24, 2013, at First Fighting
Championship in Scotland, Rua was a week away from stepping into
the Octagon for his 29th professional fight. He was set to headline
UFC Fight Night 26 with Chael
Sonnen. Craig then went on to score nine straight victories,
picking up the FightStar light heavyweight championship in England
and the BAMMA world light heavyweight title along the way. He has
since moved to the UFC, where he will compete in his 17th
professional fight. At present, his record stands at 12-4.
Craig’s triumphs notwithstanding, Shogun clearly has the edge in
experience. His pro debut dates back to Nov. 8, 2002, at Meca World
Vale Tudo in Curitiba, Brazil. He easily notched four consecutive
victories before running into UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral
and losing for the first time. Throughout his career, Rua has
fought some of the biggest names in MMA, including Dan
Liddell, Jon Jones,
Randleman and Ricardo
Arona. He won the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix and the
UFC light heavyweight championship. Rua owns a remarkable 26-11
Rua is a jiu-jitsu black belt who relies heavily on his striking.
He’s only tapped out one person in his entire career, and that’s
Randleman. For Craig, on the other hand, a brown belt who
prefers to stop people by choking them out or breaking their limbs,
11 of his 12 wins have come via submission. That translates to a 92
percent submission rate.