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Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir added to UFC London

A pair of light heavyweight contenders has joined the UFC’s planned return to London in the summer. 

A light heavyweight fight between No. 8 and No. 9 ranked fighters in the division is set for UFC London.

On Thursday, the promotion announced that Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir are expected to share the Octagon at the upcoming Fight Night event scheduled for July 23 at the O2 Arena. Both Craig and Oezdemir have confirmed the fight on their respective social media accounts.

Craig returns to London four months after his ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded submission over Nikita Krylov at UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall this past March. ‘Bearjew’ now boasts a four-fight win streak that includes finishes of Gadzhimurad Antigulov, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Jamahal Hill. Though he originally requested a five-round contest with Anthony Smith to see who had the better jiu-jitsu, Craig now faces another one-time title challenger in Oezdemir.

Oezdemir enters this fight off of losses to Jiří Procházka and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 251 and UFC 267, respectively. Since suffering his first-ever knockout loss to then-champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 220, ’No Time’ has struggled a bit and gone 2-4 over the past four years. In that time, he has defeated Ilir Latifi via second-round knockout and Aleksandar Rakić by split decision.

UFC London is headlined by Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall, two heavyweight contenders vying for what could lead to a championship opportunity against Francis Ngannou. Other featured fights include Jack Hermansson vs. Darren Till, Alexander Gustafsson vs. Nikita Krylov and Muhammad Mokaev vs. Charles Johnson.

A bout between fan favorite Paddy Pimblett and Ottman Azaitar is rumored as in the works for the event as well, but at this time is yet to be confirmed. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for updates on the event as they become available in the coming weeks.