“I tend to look towards constantly improving and not dwelling on the past”.
24th August 2013 was the day that Paul Craig made his professional debut in his native Scotland, taking just two minutes to get the submission victory at First Fighting Championship 3. Since then he hasn’t looked back and has constantly showed improvement and pushed himself to 4-0 in his career, with all his wins coming in the first round.
His last appearance inside the cage came in the headlining bout of First Fighting Championship Resurgance, last September, when he took on the tough Ludus Magnus competitor Dan Konecke in the main event. Craig showed just how dangerous he is off his back, locking up Konecke’s arm, rolling him to his back and finishing with brutal elbows for the first round TKO.
It was a fine performance from the Scotsman, known as the ‘bearjew’, and the past six months since the fight have seen him focusing more of his improvement and not his past spoils of war.
“It’s been a busy six months, so I haven’t really had a chance to reflect on my last fight. I tend to look towards constantly improving and not dwelling on the past.
The six months that have passed have helped me develop into a much better all round fighter. I won a K1 fight in Germany in November and I’ve recently won my weight division in the World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championships. Along with dedicating six days a week hard training to improving my game”.
It’s easy to say Craig hasn’t sat still, he has put himself out there to help all facets of his mixed martial arts skill set and the road has led him to be invited to headline the FightStar Championship 5 card, in Coventry, this weekend. FightStar are known for constantly putting on impressive shows and always improving on their last one.
Craig will take his place atop the card, in the main event, and it is something which he is used to.
“I know FightStar is a big show down south and this is their first time in Coventry. I recognise that this is the next rung on the ladder for me and to be headlining it is even better; I love sharing the main event”.
The main event also has the added benefit of being for the very first FightStar Championship British Light Heavyweight Professional title. Which Craig will be looking to take back to Scotland with him, but standing in his way will be Cage Warriors veteran James Hurrell.
Hurrell has a record of seven wins and four defeats, with six of his victories coming via TKO/KO. He has also never been to decision in his professional career, with him only going outside of the first round three times. This is similar to the bearjew, meaning fans should make sure they don’t blink as this one could be over quickly.
“I’ve won a few amateur belts in my career” Craig told me. “But this would be the first pro belt, so it would be pretty special. I can’t see it not being an option coming home with me.
I’ve no doubt that James has an abundance of experience, but he’s never been locked in a cage with anyone of my skill set. All bar one of my fights have been first round submissions or TKO, so on paper it should be a pretty short fight regardless and It’ll be a challenge for both of us and it’s going to be a great show”.
This will be Paul’s first match up of 2015 but fans can feel like he has never been away and we are just over three months into the year, so he will looking to keep competing and has one big aim to for later in the year, which couldn’t be too far out of his reach and would make 2015 a year to remember.
“I plan on keeping my unblemished record throughout the year. I’ll start that by winning the Fightstar Championship belt, with the hopes of being considered for a wee UFC Scotland slot”.
I have been luckily enough to see Paul Craig compete twice so far, with the fights both being his third and fourth professional victories in 2014 and his is a competitor who is always exciting to watch. He came down to the FCC 10 show in Bolton last June where submitted Jon Ferguson in quick fashion, again showing that if you take him down he will punish you, and then there was the Konecke fight in Scotland.
Fans can expect an explosive main event with two highly respected competitors and it is definitely a fight for all fans of mixed martial arts as we will see Scotland take on England and the bearjew looking to take the belt all the way back to Scotland and put another ‘W’ on his advancing professional career.
Paul would like to finally thank:
“I’d like to thank all my coaches, especially Brian, Jimmy, Marcos Lawrence and Stevie. The guys at the Hit Squad for letting me beat on their asses. My sponsors Almet Doors and IronGuard. The self proclaimed ‘best cornerman’ Ross the slam machine Johnston. My good friend and mentor James Green. And my family and fiancé Cheryl, along with our new addition for putting up with weight cuts, moaning, mood swings and money spending on MMA gear”.
(I would also like to thank Paul for taking the time out to answer my questions and allowing me to write this piece)