UFC 263: Paul Craig reacts to Jamahal Hill's gruesome injury

Paul Craig

Paul Craig proved that Jamahal Hill isn't on his level after snapping his opponent's arm in half at UFC 263 on Saturday night at the Gila River Arena in Arizona. 

In the build-up to their light heavyweight bout, Craig (15-4-1) repeatedly insisted that he wanted to like Demian Maia and that he was on a different level to Hill. 

True to his word, Craig clung onto his opponent's arm like a limpet and simply wouldn't let it go.

Hill tried in vain to wrench it free but found it sandwiched between Craig's body and the mat, simultaneously dislocating his elbow and tearing several ligaments as it was forced into an unnatural angle. 

Craig's reaction said it all as he admitted he was just as surprised as everyone else by the severity of the injury.  

"I actually said to my coaches walking to here, I didn't think that was possible," Craig said at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference. "I genuinely didn't think, biomechanically, the arm should do that.

"But hey, who am I? I have not got a degree in medicine, have I? I just turn up and be a tough guy."   

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Craig also said that he now wants a shot at the top ten after pulling off one of the biggest upsets on the night. 'Bearjew' could be found at as much as a +225 underdog with some bookmakers. 

"The top ten's pretty stacked with guys actually already having been matched up," he added. "You know, I'm looking for somebody in the top ten, nine, ten, somewhere in that, maybe seven, as far down as that. 

"But ultimately it comes down to [this]; people have been watching that, there's light heavyweights watching that, and if anybody that's out there thinks they've got better jiu-jitsu than myself, then come and prove it. 

"I want to be the guy in the rankings who everybody fears, I want to be the Demian Maia in my division, I want to be that guy where it's like, 'we don't go to ground with Paul, we try to keep him standing up, we want to knock him out.'"

Paul Craig

The 33-year-old also revealed that he is still interested in a fight with fellow top 205-pounder Anthony Smith. Smith is scheduled to face Ryan Spann in September at UFC Fight Night 194. 

He continued: "I'd love to have that fight. He's been very vocal and he said two fights ago he'd love to have that fight.

"UFC had something else in mind for him, I think he's fighting [Ryan] Spann at the moment, isn't he?

"I was meant to fight Spann last year before the pandemic hit, you know, I'm ready, and if there's somebody out there who wants to take this fight, then ask the boss, but ultimately I can wait, I can wait for the winner of this fight, I'm more than happy." 

Read more: Paul Craig exclusive: Scotsman wants to be the 'Demian Maia' of the light heavyweight division

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