Houston’s own Andrew Craig is getting prepared for his tenth pro MMA fight, fourth in The UFC, against the always dangerous Chris “The Crippler” Leben on July 6 at the MGM in Las Vegas for UFC 162. Craig holds a 2-1 UFC record with wins over Kyle Noke and a KO over Rafael Natal; his only loss has been a decision loss to Ronny Markes. Leben is definitely a step up in talent for Craig, but after talking to him he seems more prepared, confident as ever, and happy to face tougher competition in The UFC.
Craig isn’t your usual long haired hippie like me; he holds a Corporation Communications degree from The University of Texas and trains year round for his fights. He was originally introduced to MMA by a cousin and was doing it sporadically to stay in shape. He began to take it more seriously and as soon as he graduated college he was ready to fight immediately. He only took four fights as an ammy, his second fight being against San Antonio’s Rodrigo Pinheiro. That’s a hell of a second fight if you ask me. After going pro he was already fighting for a title his second time. Although Leben has an advantage in octagon experience, Craig has faced his share of tough fighters in his short career. Why choose fighting over using his degree to get an office job? Craig said, “Fighting is a way cooler job.”
Craig has seemed very well rounded in his UFC fights, and feels he is, “more diverse” than Leben. He is ready for the fight wherever it goes, but I think we will see Craig get an easy takedown and use his ground game against Leben at UFC 162 (Just my personal opinion). He has been training in Houston with Team Tooke, Jace Pitre MMA and Paradigm; going to Austin to train at Austin Muay Thai. Craig also trains with Team Rababi and at Plex training facility; so it seems he is taking this fight very seriously. When I asked Craig what his goals were for 2013, it was a simple answer, “to win”.
You can Follow Andrew on Twitter @aHIGHLIGHTcraig
Follow Mark on Twitter @MArkilloTX