Scottish light heavyweight fighter Paul Craig agreed to step in as a replacement for Sam Alvey to face Mauricio Rua in the co-main event of UFC Sao Paulo. Entering the fight, Craig had intentions to retire the 37-year-old “Shogun.”
“I (told my coaches) I would love to be ‘Shogun’ Rua’s last fight,” he told reporters during the post-fight presser. “I would love for ‘Shogun’ Rua to take his gloves off and leave them in the center of the Octagon after I had obviously gotten the victory.”
While he did inflict more damage on the Brazilian, the fight ended in an split draw. Now, “Bearjew” wants to run it back with the former PRIDE middleweight grand prix champion.
“If I did that in a two-week fight camp, what can I do in an eight-week fight camp?” Craig said. “Is there any opportunity to face Shogun Rua again? Only he’d be able to tell you that, because I would take that fight in a heartbeat.
“Going with how his face looked after that fight, I can’t see him accepting that fight.”
Contrary to Craig’s assumption, Rua did accept the rematch idea upon finding out about it.
“He’s already been talking about a rematch, I don’t know where. I’ll accept it,” Rua told the media during his own post-fight scrum. “I think that we deserve a rematch for this fight. I don’t think this was resolved.
“With all due respect to him, he’s a great athlete. And that’s it.”
Craig says he wants the rematch to take place in Glasgow in his home country of Scotland.