Craig claims stoppage victory

Scottish submission specialist Paul Craig extended his 100% finish rate as he claimed a TKO finish of fellow light heavyweight contender Jamahal Hill after the referee initially failed to spot that Craig had dislocated his opponent’s elbow during the bout.

Coatbridge’s Craig, 33, promised to test the jiu-jitsu of the previously undefeated Hill, 30, in the opening main card bout of the evening, and quickly dragged the action to the ground in search of a first-round submission.

Craig locked up Hill’s right arm then switched to the left arm as he secured a tight armbar. After Hill refused to tap to the submission hold, Craig’s pressure eventually dislocated the American’s arm as the crowd gasped in shock.

Remarkably, referee Al Guinee remained unaware of Hill’s injury as the American gamely tried to continue. But, after realising he’d broken his opponent’s arm, Craig switched his target and connected with a series of elbows to Hill’s head to eventually force the stoppage at the 1:59 mark in the first round.

“You either tap, nap or it snaps, and tonight it happened to snap,” Craig told UFC commentator Joe Rogan after his victory.

“One hell of an opponent there. Took those shots after his arm was broke. That’s tough.

“I felt it go. That’s why there was not much point putting any pressure on it. And that’s why I decided to keep elbowing.

“It’s the ref’s job to protect my opponent. My job’s to finish the fight.”