UFC welterweight Claudio Silva is getting impatient with the top athletes in his division. After losing four years of his career due to injuries, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is eager to face top competition before his prime years are through.
Still undefeated in the UFC and coming off three submission wins, ‘Hannibal’ hopes that a win over James Krause at UFC Fight Island 6 might finally give him the chance to challenge tougher competition. In an interview with Combate, Claudio claims that Brazilians are not as appreciated as American and European fighters, especially when they are controversial.
“Of course I want to (call out someone in the top 15),” Silva said. “The hard part is one of them accepting to fight me. There’s that whole ‘I’m ranked so I won’t fight you’ thing. I’m on a five-fight win streak, but I’m not ranked. If it’s bad for me, imagine how Leon Edwards feels. He’s coming off eight straight wins and he’s not fighting for the belt. Every time the media and fans mention his name, he is mocked. Other top-5 fighters make fun of him for not having many followers. He’s not much of a talker, too. What do I have to do, rob a bank? How many armored trucks?”
“The thing is that if an American or an European fighter mess up, they think it’s nice,” Claudio continued. “A Brazilian on the other hand. If I act up, I’ll get expelled from the UFC. I don’t know what to do. I think I have to beat everyone up, really take their heads off. Look at Kamaru Usman. 10 fights until he became the champion. 10 fights undefeated. Look at Khabib. 12 fights until he became the champion. I won’t talk. I want to go out there and show my work. I want to beat everyone.”
Paired up against a very game veteran in James Krause, who took the fight on short notice after Muslim Salikhov withdrew for undisclosed reasons, Silva feels confident he will score his sixth straight win. Although Hannibal recognizes his opponent is a dangerous one, Claudio does not think he is as threatening as people consider James to be.
“He’s a tough guy, a striker, he has good defense. He was on a great win streak, but lost it because he took a fight on 24-hour notice in a weight class above his. He’s a tough guy, well-prepared. I think I can knock him out or submit him. He’s tough, but he’s not this imaginary monster that people have created.”
Still undefeated in the Octagon, Claudio Silva (14-1) will look for his sixth straight wins after defeating Brad Scott, Leon Edwards, Nordine Taleb, Danny Roberts and Cole Williams in the UFC. His last three wins all came by way of submission, with two of them being in the first round.
Now, “Hannibal” is expected to take on James Krause at UFC Fight Island 6, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 17. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight bout between top contenders Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega.