By the Numbers: Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig

By Mark Raymundo Nov 15, 2019
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It’s not every day that one squares off against a legend, and that’s why Scotland’s Paul Craig has made his training count in preparation for his upcoming bout with former Pride and UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Craig has been alternating wins and losses in his Ultimate Fighting Championship tenure and a victory over Rua would break the cycle. As they get ready for UFC Fight Night 164, here are some numbers significant to their respective careers.

Age, height and arm reach

At 6-foot-4, Craig is three inches taller than Rua, though they both have the same arm reach of 76 inches. In the age department, the gap is considerably bigger, as the 37-year-old Rua will be taking on the 31-year-old Craig.

Pro experience

When Craig made his pro debut on Aug. 24, 2013, at First Fighting Championship in Scotland, Rua was a week away from stepping into the Octagon for his 29th professional fight. He was set to headline UFC Fight Night 26 with Chael Sonnen. Craig then went on to score nine straight victories, picking up the FightStar light heavyweight championship in England and the BAMMA world light heavyweight title along the way. He has since moved to the UFC, where he will compete in his 17th professional fight. At present, his record stands at 12-4.

Craig’s triumphs notwithstanding, Shogun clearly has the edge in experience. His pro debut dates back to Nov. 8, 2002, at Meca World Vale Tudo in Curitiba, Brazil. He easily notched four consecutive victories before running into UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral and losing for the first time. Throughout his career, Rua has fought some of the biggest names in MMA, including Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Jon Jones, Mark Coleman, Alistair Overeem, Kevin Randleman and Ricardo Arona. He won the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix and the UFC light heavyweight championship. Rua owns a remarkable 26-11 ledger.

Knockout rate

Rua carries an 81 percent knockout rate. That’s 21 victories by KO or TKO. Craig, meanwhile, has only one TKO win on his resume, making for a lowly eight percent knockout rate. Rua’s list of KO victims in the UFC includes Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Mark Coleman, Brandon Vera, Forrest Griffin, Tyson Pedro, Gian Villante and James Te Huna. Outside of the Octagon, he’s starched the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Alistair Overeem, Ricardo Arona, Cyrille Diabate, Akihiro Gono and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.

Submission rate

Rua is a jiu-jitsu black belt who relies heavily on his striking. He’s only tapped out one person in his entire career, and that’s Kevin Randleman. For Craig, on the other hand, a brown belt who prefers to stop people by choking them out or breaking their limbs, 11 of his 12 wins have come via submission. That translates to a 92 percent submission rate.

Stoppage losses

Of Rua’s 11 career defeats, eight have been stoppages. He has been stopped by Anthony Smith, Ovince St. Preux, Dan Henderson, Jon Jones and Mark Coleman (due to injury) and has been tapped out by Chael Sonnen, Forrest Griffin, and Babalu. As for Craig, all four of his losses have been stoppages. He was starched by Alonzo Menifield, Khalil Rountree and Tyson Pedro and was submitted by Jim Crute. Advertisement

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