UFC Betting Pick: James Krause vs Claudio Silva

We are staying on Fight Island for a couple more weeks of UFC action.

This week, we have a Fight Night event and next week is the big one.

The biggest fight of the year so far, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje, will headline UFC 254 next week.

I’m really freaking pumped!

I want Justin to get that win!

Expose Khabib!

Nothing to expose?

I guess we will see.

He has not fought very many high-level wrestlers. That isn’t up for argument.

Justin is a high-level wrestler, and if the Coloradan wins, the possibility of Khabib vs GSP is all but gone.

We have another week of fights to get through, though, before the big show.

I like some of our spots this week.

One of those is with this fight between Claudio Silva and the UFC’s favorite cornerman/fighter, James Krause.

James is stepping in on short notice to replace the injured Muslim Salikhov.

The public received word of this on October 4th so it wasn’t long before that when Krause took the fight.

So, about 2 weeks to prepare for the technician.

His opponent is a vet and older than Krause so I know James doesn’t mind that.

I don’t think he jumps in here if he doesn’t think he can get the win.

Krause’s opponent on Saturday night, Claudio Silva, is 14-1 and 5-0 in the UFC with submission wins in his previous 3 fights.

His stand up is some of the worst in the entire organization and his wrestling is not technical at all.

When the fight hits the mat and he is on top, that’s when Claudio has an advantage over 90% of the UFC’s Welterweight Division.

James Krause is no slouch on the mat, though,

The black belt recently submitted King Mo Lawal with a guillotine in a grappling match.

Mo is a great guy. I trained not with him but alongside him for years in Las Vegas.

  • He fights at 205 pounds and is freaking huge.
  • He is probably the thickest fighter I have ever seen in person.
  • We are talking about a world-class wrestling pedigree, Big 12 Champion at Oklahoma State as well as All American status.
  • He also won 2 of 3 wrestling matches at the 2005 World Championships.

Then, the guy spends the next 15 years practicing how to shoot in on people without getting choked.

Then, boom, 170 pounder James Krause snatches up his neck.

Krause is legit.

Let’s take a look at some of the measurables for both of our combatants and then the betting lines so we can make our pick.

James Krause Claudio Silva
Fight Record: 27-9 Fight Record: 14-1
Age: 34 Age: 38
Height: 6’2” Height: 5’11”
Reach: 73” Reach: 71”
From: Bad News, Virginia From: Mondonopolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Fight Camp: Glory MMA Fight Camp: American Top Team

No, that is not a typo.

Bad News, VA aka Newport News, Virginia is a city in the Hampton Roads area of the state.

This is where some of the best athletes in the country come from.

Allen Iverson, Sweet Pea Whitaker-RIP, Alonzo Mourning, Mike Vick, gymnast Gabby Douglas, Bruce Smith, and Lawrence Taylor just to name a few.

The Bad News is in reference to the rough neighborhoods.

Hard times create hard men and women.

James and his family didn’t stick around the News for too long.

His folks divorced and moved to the Kansas City area where he grew up.

Karate at age 7 and wrestling in high school.

19 years old and what to do…James thought-Hey, I’ll be a cage fighter.

Sounds fun.

15 years later and the man has a growing stable of UFC fighters working under him, he has multiple businesses rolling, and he’s taking fights on short notice against submission artists who are 14-1.

The biggest differences between the two men on the measurables are height, age somewhat but mostly their records.

James is younger and has more experience. He also has a lot more losses.

A lot of those losses were quite early in his career and against good competition.

After beginning his professional mixed martial arts career 10-0, James got the call from the WEC to fight a guy named Cowboy.

Krause tapped to a rear-naked choke in the first round.

After winning his next 5 of 8 fights, James got the call from the UFC to be a member of their hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

He was TKO’ed in the first round of the fight in the first round of the tournament by Justin Lawrence.

James had taken some bumps but he was still 15-4 in professional mixed martial arts competition.

I imagine this kept his confidence high as he is a very analytical guy and I could see someone so smart letting their brain get the best of them.

He won his next four fights with RFA, a well-respected promotion.

Then the UFC came calling again.

He debuted against a very dangerous striker, Sam Stout, and guillotined the man in the third.

After winning 4 of his first 7 UFC bouts, James was cut after a couple of cancelled bouts with Ross Pearson.

He once again appeared on The Ultimate Fighter reality show and did a slightly better this time winning his first two bouts on the show against Johnny Nunez and Ramsey Nijem, two strong wrestlers.

He lost to eventual season winner and super athlete and wrestler, Jesse Taylor.

Taylor then went on to completely screw up his chances with the company by enjoying himself far too much one night in Sin City.

Happens to the best of us, man.

Krause won his next four UFC fights against okay competition but fell short against Trevin Giles when he went up a weight class to try and find an answer for “The Problem”.

It was a back and forth affair and it came down to the last round and neither man had much gas to put their stamp on it.

Krause had an excuse, though. He took the fight on short notice but Giles took a split decision.

Trevin isn’t a great fighter but he was so much bigger than Krause and James being able to handle his weight is a good sign for when he fights strong welterweights in the future.

Claudio Silva’s game on his feet is anything but beautiful but a nightmare on the ground.

This fight opened at 5dimes.EU as a pick’em.

Where are we at now?


  • James Krause (-175)
  • Claudio Silva (+155)
Round Total

  • Over 2.5 Rounds: (-135)
  • Under 2.5 Rounds: (+115)
Decision Prop

  • Fight goes (-115)
  • Fight doesn’t go (-125)

This is a bit surprising to see this much money come in on a short notice replacement, especially one who has been coaching more than full time with a UFC every week and a new client seemingly every week.

James has a lot of irons in the fire.

He is going to have to cut down to 170 for this fight too

There are question marks.

I know James does match up with Claudio fairly well but Silva is a dangerous fighter with only one loss.

He has taken down all 5 of his UFC opponents and submitted 3 of them.

James has a 50% takedown defense which isn’t great but only 33% for Claudio.

The Brazilian is securing 3.32 takedowns per 15 minutes.

I’m sure you can do the math for approximately how many he attempts/15.

10 takedown attempts is a lot. It can make you very tired. It can also make your opponent quite tired.

James gassed against Giles and he didn’t have to cut the weight on short notice.

Now he does.

I think that at the least evens up any age difference talk. Plus Krause has way more miles on his body than the Brazilian, at least in MMA.

His only loss was an illegal elbow.

So, essentially, we are getting a guy who is 15-0 in his pro MMA career and 5-0 in the UFC w 3 subs at plus money against a fighter with 9 losses.

Our 15-0 guy isn’t too young and green. He trains at American Top Team so I know those boys and girls are rounding out his game.

One of his biggest wins was his submission of Nordine Taleb, a fighter who still hasn’t been submitted by anyone else.

Please Note:
He was coming off of an 18-month layoff and he got the first round win so I don’t want to hear anything about him being rusty.

If you’re at ATT in South Florida, I feel like you probably stay fight ready.

He’s a big boy too. Claudio fought at Middleweight in Europe when he fought out of London Shootfighters.

He was tapping all those Brits!

Let’s go over each fighter’s respective paths to victory and then make our prediction from there.

Path to Victory

James Krause

What does he train his fighters to do?

Calf kick!

Early and often.

  • Silva is not a great striker as we mentioned a couple of times and he will never be able to get close the distance on James Krause if his leg is compromised.
  • James has a good jab too and he also has the height and reach advantage so I can see him using the large Octagon to keep his range and land his 1’s and 1-2’s.

I don’t see him trying to take Silva down or initiating any grappling exchanges. He has a pretty clear advantage as the more technical striker and he is smart enough to try and keep the fight in that realm.

It isn’t going to be easy, though.

Silva is absolutely relentless with his takedown attempts.

Claudio Silva

Make it ugly!

No, we can definitely get much uglier…

  • Yes, lots of those body/shoulder left kicks from the southpaw position.
  • Claudio fights as a Jiu Jitsu ace should.
  • He throws lots of kicks because he doesn’t care about getting taken down.

All of his striking is wide open.

I don’t think MMA fighters should ever strive to be on the bottom but Silva looks at it like they can take me down if they want.

Only doing him a favor.

He needs to keep this fight in perpetual motion for as long as these two are at distance.

Keep moving and exploding awkwardly.

Technical guys like James hate that stuff. You aren’t playing their game.

Also, the longer Silva stands still, the greater the likelihood of James Krause landing his patented fight-altering calf kick.

Keep it moving while the fight is played out at distance. Be actively awkward and don’t ever stop attempting takedowns.


I can understand anyone seeing this fight 60/40 one way or the other. There is a reason 5dimes.EU opened this one up as a pick’em.

People love Krause.

  • He’s super smart and an exciting fighter but at the end of the day – he lacks power on the feet and the wrestling pedigree to decide where the fight takes place.
  • He is tall and long but doesn’t appear to be one of the stronger fighters in the UFC’s Welterweight Division.

I have read people saying this will be a walk in the park for Krause.

It may be.

Silva is a mess on his feet but I believe in his team more than any other and Krause is taking it on short notice among other red flags.

I like the odds we have here and I would bet now or forever hold your horses because this line might be on the move back down towards even.

Krause might hit ‘em with the calk kick early and work him over with big shots for the TKO win.

We only need to cap this as a pick’em to make a play here, though, and I have the Brazilian at 60/40.

That gives us a mighty edge.

My Pick
Claudio Silva

In Conclusion

This is an interesting fight.

I am not going to pretend like I know who is going to win.

I did spend most of my time talking about Krause but that is just because there is so much more information out on the guy.

He has had the much longer and more interesting career fighting with all of his ups and downs.

Claudio is 15-0 as far as I’m concerned.

Kinda boring.

Nah, he goes after it and he will at the very least, push the gas tank of the short notice fighter Krause, who is cutting all the way down to 170.

We picked Silva, though, because we have a huge edge on the online sportsbooks. They have Krause at more than 60% and we have it 60/40 the other way.

I would get Silva where he is now because bettors big or small are going to see the respective fight records and go from there.

9 losses or zero?

I’ll take the crazy Brazilian at (+155).

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

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