UFC 178 Fight Breakdown: Jorge Masvidal vs. James Krause

masvidal-cruickshank One of the prelims at UFC 178 is a three-round lightweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and James Krause. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Masvidal is a -360 favorite (bet $360 to win $100) while Krause is a +300 underdog (bet $100 to win $300). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Masvidal at -405 and Krause at +285, and so far Masvidal has remained a high favorite to win the fight. I agree that Masvidal should be a big favorite as stylistically it’s his fight to win or lose, and I’m picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Masvidal (27-8) is one of the most well-rounded lightweights in the UFC. Just 29 years of age, the American Masvidal has a wealth of experience and has fought in a number of top-level promotions, including the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and even BodogFight and Sengoku. Since coming over to the UFC in 2013, Masvidal is 4-1 in the Octagon with wins over Pat Healy, Tim Means, Michael Chiesa and Daron Cruickshank and his lone loss coming to Rustam Khabilov. Training at American Top Team, Masvidal is skilled in all areas of the game. He has excellent boxing, which he is most well-known for, but he also has an underrated wrestling and grappling game and has really shown that off so far during his UFC tenure. If Masvidal has any flaws in his game it’s his hitability, as he tends to be struck too much on the feet, but so far his chin has held up for him and other than flawed striking defence Masvidal hasn’t shown many holes in his game. That flaw could play a factor in this particular matchup against Krause, who is a talented kickboxer, but due to Masvidal’s strengths in the other areas of his game, namely his offensive wrestling, it makes sense he is a large favorite heading into this fight against a fighter who has shown poor takedown defence in the past. Krause (21-5) is coming up the lightweight ranks and a win over Masvidal would push him into the top 15 of the world. Just 28 years of age, the American Krause is so far 2-1 in the UFC with a submission win over Sam Stout and a TKO win over Jamie Varner, and with his lone loss coming in somewhat controversial fashion to Bobby Green. Krause overall has won nine of his last 10 bouts and seems to be peaking right now in his career. He is a tall (6’2″) lightweight with a long reach and he uses that long reach to pepper his opponents on the feet with his punches and kicks. He is a very talented kickboxer and overall is a tough guy to deal with on the feet. However, while he does have an underrated submission game, his defensive wrestling is poor and he’s too easily taken down to the mat and controlled by his opponents due to his wiry frame and this could cause a problem for him going up against the top wrestlers at 155lbs. If he’s able to keep this fight with Masvidal on the feet, he certainly has the chance to land a knockout blow, but overall the flaws in his defensive wrestling are too large to ignore and that’s why he’s the underdog heading into the fight. I believe Masvidal is simply the better mixed martial artist in this matchup and should win this fight whether it takes place on the feet or standing. In this particular matchup, I see Masvidal using his wrestling to control Krause and try to win a decision by grinding him or or maybe submitting him. If the fight stays standing I am a bit worried about Masvidal’s chin but overall I believe it should hold up, although I have to give credit to Krause for being a talented striker. Still, all signs point to a Masvidal win and at -360 he seems to make for a nice parlay piece at UFC 178.

Written by Adam Martin.

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