The main card of UFC 263 kicks off with a highly anticipated matchup between two Lightheavyweight contenders. Paul Craig is set to take on the rising prospect Jamahal Hill, which has all of the fixings for an exciting bout. It’s time to continue our UFC 263 odds series with a Paul Craig-Jamahal Hill prediction and pick.
Craig is much more comfortable taking his fights to the mat, as 12 of his 14 career wins have come via submission. He’s currently 3-1-1 in his last five fights and hopes to earn his third win in a row on Saturday night.
Jamahal Hill is one of the rising stars in the UFC after making his UFC debut on Dana White’s Contender Series. At 8-0, Hill has proven to be a sort of a knockout artist, as half of his wins have come by KO/TKO. He looks to remain undefeated in the toughest matchup of his career so far.
Here’s how the sportsbooks have set the Craig-Hill odds for the opening fight on the main card.
UFC 263: Paul Craig-Jamahal Hill odds
Paul Craig +230
Jamahal Hill -270
Over 1.5 (-125)
Under 1.5 (-105)
How Paul Craig could win the fight
Craig is going to look for the takedown early and often. He’s a bit susceptible to the knockout though, as he’s been finished three times in his career. The longer this match stays on the feet, the more dangerous it becomes for Paul Craig.
With 19 career fights under his belt, Craig has experience on his side that he can rely on. Staying patient will be key here for Paul Craig, as the “BearJew,” could find himself in trouble if he rushes in. We should be seeing him utilize leg kicks and jabs to set up his takedowns or get into the clinch.
How Jamahal Hill could win the fight
Hill is entering the fifth UFC fight of his career. He’s won three so far and received a no contest in May last year. However, two of his last three wins have come via knockout, which means he’s steadily improving his fight game. He’ll look to be on full display on Saturday night, as a win could catapult him up the Lightheavyweight rankings.
“Sweet Dreams” will want to avoid the clinch and ground game entirely, as we have yet to see him control a fight on the ground. He’ll need to be wary of the takedown attempts from Craig, and do everything he can to keep the fight on the feet. Keeping his distance, quickness, and speed will open up and wear down Craig. Once his opponent is tired, Hill can make his strike and potentially end the fight early.
Final Paul Craig-Jamahal Hill prediction & pick
Grappler versus striker is the ongoing theme of UFC 263, which should lead up to some exciting bouts. The Craig-Hill fight should live up to expectations along with the rest of the card, as this fight could end at any minute. Whether it’s a Paul Craig submission, or a Jamahal Hill knockout, the opening fight for the main card should be a fun one. At the end of the day, look for Hill to come out victorious, as he’s a rising prospect being given an opportunity to make a giant leap in his career.
FINAL Paul Craig-Jamahal Hill PREDICTION & PICK: Jamahal Hill wins by KO/TKO in the early portion of Round 1.