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Scots mixed martial arts star to fight first home bout

Lanarkshire fighter Paul Craig on bill for UFC event at Glasgow's SSE Hydro.

Octagon: Paul Craig will face Khalil Rountree at Hydro (file pic).
Octagon: Paul Craig will face Khalil Rountree at Hydro (file pic). STV

Scot Paul Craig will make his home debut at an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow later this year.

The Coatbridge-based fighter, who is originally from Craigneuk, Motherwell, will take on Khalil Rountree, who was a finalist in UFC's reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter.

UFC announced the match along with two other mixed martial arts bouts to be held in Glasgow on Sunday, July 16.

The light-heavyweight match between Craig and Los Angeles fighter Rountree is the first time the 29-year-old Scot has fought in front of a home crowd.

Craig will be looking to return to winning ways when he steps inside the Octagon after losing his last fight by a technical KO to Australian Tyson Pedro.

But Rountree will also be hoping to build on his impressive first-round knockout victory over Daniel Jolly in February.

Speaking ahead of the summer event, Craig said: "I have never fought in my home country as a professional, so to be added to the card in Glasgow, 10 minutes away from my home, is incredible.

"Hearing the Scottish fans cheering for me as I walk out into the arena on July 16 will be spectacular."

Craig, a 6ft 4in father-of-two who is also a school teacher, added: "I hope MMA in Scotland and across the UK continues to grow.

"The sport here is getting more and more exposure, and I want more athletes from Scotland to get the recognition they deserve."

Also on the Hydro card will be Welshman Jack Marshman fighting Canadian Ryan Janes and England's Mark Godbeer taking on American fighter Justin Willis.

Tickets are set to go on general sale on Friday, June 2.

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