Claudio Silva vs James Krause
The owner of one of the stranger extended runs of success in the UFC at the moment, Claudio Silva puts his 5-0 record in the Octagon and 14-fight winning streak on the line this weekend in a clash with veteran fan favorite James Krause.
Silva lost his pro debut and hasn’t been beaten since, winning nine straight before making his UFC debut with a win over Brad Scott in March 2014. He followed that up with a split decision nod over Leon Edwards — yes, that’s current top contender Leon Edwards — but then was sidelined for two-and-a-half years with various injuries.
The 38-year-old “Hannibal” has posted three more victories since returning, submitting Nordine Talib, Danny Roberts, and Cole Williams in succession, though the Roberts win was not without controversy. He’s clearly talented, but it’s incredibly difficult to know where to place him in the hierarchy, but this weekend’s bout with Krause should help provide some clarity.
While coaching has become a much bigger part of his life in recent years, Krause remains an underrated competitor in his own right. He entered the year on a six-fight winning streak and coming off back-to-back impressive finishes after returning to the welterweight division, but saw it snapped when he dropped a split decision to Trevin Giles in a middleweight bout he took the day before the fight at UFC 247 in Houston.
Now back down in his usual surrounds, the 34-year-old looks to halt Silva’s winning streak and get himself back into the win column as he steps in for Muslim Salikhov this weekend on Fight Island.
Jun Yong Park vs John Phillips
South Korean middleweight Junyong Park looks for his second straight UFC victory as he takes on Welsh banger John Phillips.
After having his seven-fight winning streak snapped last summer in his promotional debut, Park got back into the win column at the end of the year with a unanimous decision victory over Marc-Andre Barriault. The 29-year-old “Iron Turtle” is a stout, compact competitor who has earned eight finishes in 11 career wins and will aim to cement his place in the middle of the division and build some further momentum as he makes his 2020 debut this weekend.
An all-action fan favorite on the British regional scene for years before matriculating to the UFC, Phillips has had a tough go of things inside the Octagon. He halted a three-fight slide last September with a 17-second knockout win over Alen Amedovski, but landed on the business end of Khamzat Chimaev’s blistering debut earlier this summer in his first foray to Fight Island.
Jamie Mullarkey vs Fares Ziam
Lightweights that lost to talented competition in their respective debuts make the walk to the Octagon for a second time in tandem as Jamie Mullarkey and Fares Ziam square off in this preliminary card pairing.
The 26-year-old Mullarkey debuted last fall at UFC 243, dropping a unanimous decision to surging City Kickboxing representative Brad Riddell. With a dozen wins in 15 professional appearances, the Central Coast man whose first career loss came opposite current featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski will look to avoid a two-fight slide in this one.
Ziam’s first UFC appearance also came in Abu Dhabi, as the 23-year-old filled in for Magomed Mustafaev opposite Don Madge at UFC 243 last September. A unanimous decision loss snapped his five-fight winning streak, but with the benefit of a full training camp and 15 minutes of Octagon experience under his belt, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a much more comfortable and complete version of Ziam this weekend.