Paul Craig predicts Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz, reveals why Jon Jones leaving has made the division ‘so significantly better’, and backs Scotland for achievement at Euro 2020


Paul Craig believes Israel Adesanya may battle towards Jan Blachowicz if he decides to maneuver as much as light-heavyweight and problem for the title.

The present middleweight champion defeated primary contender Paulo Costa with consummate ease on Battle Island in September.

Israel Adesanya is concentrating on a second world title belt towards Jan Blachowicz
Getty Pictures – Getty

With most popular opponent Jared Cannonier failing to get previous Robert Whittaker, Adesanya appears genuinely disadvantaged of high contenders at 185lbs.

As appears to be the case for a lot of world champions, shifting up in weight and claiming a second belt is one thing ‘The Final Stylebender’ is eager to do.

Nonetheless Craig, who harbours world title ambitions himself, believes the transfer as much as 205lbs could not work in his favour.

He advised talkSPORT.com: “We’ve seen guys transfer up by the divisions to maneuver as much as light-heavyweight and it labored out for folks like Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos.

Adesanya knocked out Paulo Costa to retain his middleweight title
Getty Pictures – Getty

“Nevertheless it didn’t work out for Luke Rockhold and it didn’t work out for Chris Weidman who have been champions. So I believe typically having that additional weight and having the construction to have the muscle that Jan has, as a result of he’s an enormous man, I don’t suppose is a beneficial battle for Izzy.

“He’s by no means actually been examined with reference to pictures and I believe if Jan can’t land massive, heavy pictures on him, he’s simply going to take him down and grind him out that method.

“So it’s an fascinating battle, however that’s what makes it an entertaining division!”

The ‘Bearjew’ will face former world champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua this night on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in a rematch of their traditional bout a 12 months in the past.

Paul Craig desires to retire Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua by beating him of their rematch
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Though the previous faculty trainer was at risk of shedding his place within the UFC two-and-a-half years in the past in London, he is aware of a win over UFC legend Rua may propel him into title competition.

“Trying on the division now, it’s extensive open,” Craig added. “You’ve bought Jan [Blachowicz] in that primary place, however the division is open man.

“I believe all people has bought a possibility to capitalise on this and it makes the light-heavyweight division much more thrilling.

“Jon Jones shifting as much as heavyweight has made this division so significantly better as a result of he’s not clutching at that title any extra and it simply means there are extra folks attempting to get to it now.”

In addition to instructing, Craig was a soccer coach and was delighted to see the Tartan Military attain Euro 2020, their first main event this Millennium.

And with the favored anthem ‘Sure Sir, I Can Boogie’ set to be his walkout music, Craig is hoping to make 2021 a particular 12 months for Scottish sport.

He concluded: “That conjures up a nation! We’re famend for not being the best in sport, our final main competitors was France in 1998.

“Possibly, subsequent 12 months we see Paul Craig ‘UFC Champion’ and Scotland European champions? We’ve seen WWE star Drew McIntyre get the belt. So who is aware of, perhaps Scotland is simply going to be the place the place sport is occurring?”