Perhaps no one was more frustrated with the outcome of the UFC on ESPN+ 22 co-main event than the fighters involved.
Neither combatant was pleased with his performance. Rua (26-11-1 MMA, 10-9-1 UFC) and Craig (12-4-1 MMA, 4-4-1 UFC) seemingly felt it was their fight for the taking.
“It was clear that he won the first round, and I won the other two,” Rua said. “I though it was totally unfair.”
While Craig didn’t indicate he believed he won the fight prior to hearing the judges’ scorecards, he did voice his disappointment in his overall performance.
“I came to Brazil and got a draw against a Brazilian legend,” Craig said. “I just wish I had done more. I should have done better.”
So what’s next for Rua? What’s next for Craig? Both fighters seem to be on the same page: They’d jump at the opportunity to immediately rematch.
“Absolutely,” Rua said through an interpreter on the ESPN post-fight show. “I just have to see if the UFC wants that. Do they agree with that rematch? If they do, I’m ready for a rematch.”
At the post-fight press conference, Craig agreed. The Scottish light heavyweight took the bout on short notice and stressed his belief that a full training camp would make a difference. Hearing rumors of a UFC return to Glasgow in the near future, Craig hopes the stars align.
“There are rumors that UFC Glasgow is going to happen,” Craig said. “That’d be my hometown. If I did that in a two-week fight camp, what can I do with an eight-week training camp?
“Is there any opportunity to fight ‘Shogun’ Rua again? Only he’d be able to tell you that because I’d take that fight in a heartbeat. (But) with how his face was looking after that fight, I can’t see him accepting that fight.”
UFC on ESPN+ 22 took place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. The card streamed on ESPN+.
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