MMA News: Paul Craig, a light-heavyweight from Scotland, had a disappointing 2021 season in which he only fought once.
Despite the gradual progress, he is determined to retire from MMA at the age of 35. That birthday, November 27, 2022, is rapidly approaching.
“I’m a 34-year-old woman. My hair is falling off. I made a contract with myself that I’d like to reach the age of 35. That’s my phone number, and I only have a year remaining on it “Craig told Sky Sports about the situation.
“With everything that happened last year, it was a nightmare. However, I’m still adamant about the number 35. I don’t see the point in taking a hit because I’m not performing at my best.”
In light of many athletes’ apparent longevity in current times, Craig’s decision to retire may appear odd. In football, Cristiano Ronaldo is still going strong as he approaches his 37th birthday, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 40, is assisting AC Milan in their pursuit of the Italian title.
More importantly, Craig’s division’s two top fighters are substantially older than him, but he understands the risks of taking headshots into his middle age and how past-their-prime competitors may be exploited.
“We have Jan Blachowicz (ex-champion), who is 38 years old. We have a new champion (Glover Teixeira), who is 42 years old “he stated
“But I don’t want to be the one who is taken advantage of. I’ve taken advantage of individuals and their celebrities, but I don’t want to be the one who is taken advantage of. But, if you ask my coach or my family, they’ll almost certainly tell you that I’ll be fighting until I’m 42.”
Craig’s term may be extended in 2022 due to a shift in momentum. He won a game-changing knockout victory over Jamahal Hill six months ago, but waiting for his rumoured opponent, three-time championship challenger Alexander Gustafsson, proved to be a mistake.
Craig explained, “I was supposed to fight Gustafsson in London, but he got injured.” “The card was then sent to America. ‘Gus is injured,’ the UFC informed me. Do you want to be the one to wait for Gus? ‘Or are you looking for a new fighter?’
“Now I was putting in a lot of effort to improve my rating. I’ve fought every single one of the people they’ve thrown in front of me. I’ve always worked for a corporation. And having a name like Gustafsson on your resume – he’s the face of the UFC, and after losing a close decision to Jon Jones, he’s become a superstar. ‘Listen, we’re going to wait for Gus,’ we said.
“After a few months, he was still injured, and we told him, “Look, we can’t be out for a year.” Then they offered us December 18, a top-10 opponent, and a favourable opponent, but I couldn’t get a visa in time to travel to the United States.”
Craig (15-4-1) is very excited about the thought of getting back into the cage, most likely in the spring, whether or not his UFC career comes to an end with his 35th birthday.
He continued, ” “Fighting is something I enjoy doing. The fear of the unknown is one of my favourite feelings. I like the song and the walkout. I enjoy the pageantry that comes with MMA, whether I win, lose, or draw. It’ll be March before we know it. There are rumours that it will be in London.”
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