UFC 301: Caio vs. Craig, The 3 Reasons Caio Brutally Knocked out Craig

UFC 301: The three reasons Caio brutally finished Craig. Caio Borallho vs Paul Craig

Fight fanatics,

As a student of martial arts, this fight has inspired me and I hope you learn as much as I did, and don’t forget to enjoy the highlights.

This is a fight analysis of Caio Borralho vs. Paul Craig at UFC 301, Farmasi Arena, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If you haven’t watched this fight, take the time to watch it.

1. Caio created threats, Craig created opportunities

While fighting, you want to create threats for your opponent to fear, and answer your opponent’s threats. When you create threats, you create fear, and fear is the undefeated killer.

My coach says “Either be first and third, or second and fourth” in any exchange. Never leave a threat unanswered.

We’re gonna see this lesson wrapped in a beautiful ass-kicking.

Caio jabs, Craig blocks but no response.

Caio sees an opening. He lunges forward, feinting another jab, then jumps back. Craig has no response… That’s the cue.

He leaps forward, JAB, CROSS. The jab rams Craig through his chin, and the cross barely misses.

So, why did this work?

Caio set up the threat of the jab, feinted to create confusion, psychologically conditioning Craig to not respond to his next attack. Caio lunges forward and, instead of jumping back again, completely surprises Craig with his combo.

This is a masterclass in creating a threat and using it.

Paul Craig loves his rear kick. He will throw many, many of these kicks. It will go terribly, terribly wrong.

So what’s so wrong with his kick? Well, there are 3 huge problems:
1. He throws the same rear kick over and over again, one of the slowest,
    most predictable strikes someone can throw.
2. Every time he kicks, he throws with no setup, a simple step and kick.
3. He kicks with poor, unsafe technique.

We’re gonna see why this is so dangerous…

Caio’s waits. Craig’s right hand drops, IT’S TIME.

Caio lunges forward, to the outside of Craig’s lead leg with a HUGE, penetrating jab.

All three lines of defense of a well-executed body kick were wide open. No positioning, no shoulder turning, and no defensive hand movement. Even more than that, NO SETUP.

After throwing his rear kick so nakedly so many times, Caio is just waiting for his chance to throw his counter. In fact, Caio’s timing is so perfect that it’s clear he was expecting the kick.

He’s in Craig’s head, and now that he’s there, well, let’s just say he’s not leaving. The man’s brought a tent, some lawn chairs, and a couple of cold ones to crack with the boys. This is where the fight moves from exchanging threats to a one-sided ASS-WHOOPING.

2. When at First You Don’t Get Kneed, Try, Try Again…

When striking doesn’t work, take it to the ground. Engage your opponent on your terms. It’s a fantastic way to buy time, it disrupts the enemy’s rhythm, it tires them.

But Craig is no Khabib, no Makhachev. This is not an aggressive attempt at a takedown, this is a desperate attempt to survive. It buys him a little time, but only enough time to buy flowers, dig a hole in the backyard, and scribble out some last words on a napkin.

Craig has some decisions to make as Caio throws his kick. Should he catch the kick and try a single leg? How about a hip toss? What about trying to push Caio to the edge of the ring? No, no, no, let’s try all of them, and waste a ton of energy while we’re at it.

While this does result in Caio going to the edge of the ring, and prevents Caio from executing his full gameplan of punching Craig’s head off, it doesn’t do anything but delay the inevitable.

Ok, second time’s the charm! This has to work this time, right?

Of course not. Haven’t you been listening?

Another lazy kick, and this time the takedown immediately ends with Caio on top. After this clip, of course, Caio stands up and tells Craig to get his ass up. Back to the beating, I guess.

So, what did you think of the third attempt? Caio sees the same old lazy kick and caves his head in with some counter-punches. But this time, Caio notices the pattern.
After each kick, and the beating that follows, Craig always gets nervous. And what does he do when he’s nervous? Say it with me:

He takes it to the ground. And what do we do when someone drops their head?

Flying Knee!!!

Yet again, Craig tries the same attack repeatedly, and gets spanked for it. It took a few times, but Caio found the right response.

3. Desperate Times Call for …
     Another Way to Get Punched in the Face

Caio is brimming with confidence. Every single one of this threats damaged Craig. All of Craig’s threats have been met with overwhelming force. He’s looking for the end now.

You gotta know how to finish things. Open your eyes, and realize when your opponent is desperate. Corner him, and let him throw, you’ll see your opening.

Contain. Contain. Contain. This is Craig’s last dance, something has to change.

He lunges.

Caio keeps hand control.

He knows what’s coming.

Craig launches forward just like he did before with a hook.

Caio counters. CROSS. HOOK.

He’s rocked…the die is cast, and Caesar has crossed the Rubicon.



FRONT HOOK. Craig can’t run, and he can’t hide.

While Craig floats mid-air, glued to the cage, Caio delivers the death blow.

The CROSS penetrates, connecting fist, chin, and cage.



Be the man with a plan. Be Caio Borralho in that cage. He has the skill, the vision, the will.

He took the wheel and drove. That is the way to be a champion. Envision, believe, and execute. As for me, I’m excited to see this up-and-coming star show the world what he can accomplish. I hope you enjoyed the first of many fight analyses on this blog.

Fight fanatics, see you soon.