The two fought in July 2016 for the vacant 175-pound title.
“I fought him almost a year ago, from the day or our fight, that we are fighting this time,” Krumrine told MyMMANews.com.
“The last fight was a very short, gun-slinging war type fight. I dropped him in what I believe was the first minute of the fight. He had a pretty long standing eight count. I think if you go back on the video you can see it. It’s pretty bad. He came back. I went to throw an overhand and I got caught in the dome with a knee. He dropped me, the first time I’ve ever been dropped, in sparring, training, a fight, anything,” he said.
“He caught me again with a knee after my standing eight count, and they stopped the fight.”
Below is the video to that first fight, provided by FutureOfTheGame.TV
“As soon as the fight was over, before they read the announcement, I walked up to him and said, ‘We need to do that again.'”
“He agreed. It just so happens that I was speaking with Irv Althouse (USKA Fights promoter) and I pitched the idea and he loved it. I think the standing eight count was a little long. I don’t know, maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but belt or no belt, I’d love to have that fight back. Up until I got a little rambunctious trying to finish him after I dropped him, I was doing pretty well with him.”
Krumrine returned to mixed martial arts competition following the loss and won his fight via first round knockout.
After sustaining an ACL tear in his knee, Krumrine is back and looking for vengeance and training at Gracie 717 alongside coach and teammate Zak Kelly, and UFC lightweight Darrell Horcher.
“I’ve settled in at the new gym, I’ve got a win under my belt now. That fight really showed how much I’ve grown. This is going to be the best that I looked in my career.”
Why do you flip back and forth between MMA and Muay Thai competition?
“I like to stay busy. I grew up in this sport with Jay Haas. If anyone follows him, he fought like every three weeks. I just like the idea of staying busy. It’s hard to get on card as a pro around here. And it’s worse when they expect you to fight in Philly and sell a ton of tickets. It’s hard to justify 50 tickets, two and a half hours a way, at $50 or $75. Irv has just always treated me right. I’ve been on every pro card since he had me on the first time. Brad Mountain and I had the 2015 Fight of the Year. It was a knock down, drag out, bloody war. Ever since then he’s always taken care of me. He’s probably one of the best promoters I’ve ever worked with. When I’m not fighting for him, I’m commentating, so it’s just a matter of staying busy.”
Everyone in MMA knows who the Korean Zombie is. How did you become the American Zombie?
“That actually came from Darrell. We were sparring one day and he hit me with a pretty hard head kick. I kind of what into what they call ‘Zombie mode.’ I got cracked and just started coming forward and swinging. Aaron Bicking was there and said that I looked like the ‘Korean Zombie’ when he gets hit. Then Darrell said, ‘that doesn’t make sense if he’s American.’ And ever since then it just kind of stuck. Anytime I get cracked in sparring or in a fight they joke and say that’s ‘Zombie mode.'”
What has working with Zak Kelly done for you? Any significant results?
“Zak took what I already knew and started to refine it. That’s one thing I think you’ll see in this fight. I’ve always been a guy that’s down to brawl. Down to make a fight ugly and I still have that ability but Zak really got me in the habit of head movement and being more slick with my punches. He brought it up that I don’t need to be in wars every single time I go out there. Just refined what I’ve been doing. I’ve always had decent striking, I just had poor head movement. Zak’s really pushed me for working on that and my foot work. It’s been refreshing to not get hit so much. I don’t shy away from it, I’m not afraid of it. But it’s just another tool in the toolbox now working with Zak. Taking what I already knew and adding his flare to it. I think it will work out well for me. In my MMA fight, working with those guys, I think I got punched one time. I’ve never in my life had a fight where I wasn’t busted up or bruised. I did my first real camp with them and to get jabbed just one time, I could have fought the next day. It definitely helped me damage wise. I think it will surprise a lot of people when they see me this weekend.”
How is the weight cut going for Saturday night?
“185 is where we are fighting at. I think that’s another thing that played into me getting dropped last time. Last time we fought at 175. That was a tough cut for me. I was so caught up that it was for a belt and everything that I didn’t really rehydrate very well. Props to him. Not taking anything away from him. He did what nobody else was able to do, drop me, but I trained a lot of hard hitters over the years. I’ve never been dropped once. I’m a big weight cutter. I usually cut 20 pounds the week of the fight and I didn’t put it back on. I weighed in at 175 and I probably fought at 189 which is low for me. I think that had something to do with it. This time, I’m at where I should be at and I don’t see any problems making the weight. Just a mind over matter thing. I think weight should be fine. We should both perform a little better and it will be a fun fight to watch.”
If you had a crystal ball to peak into the near future, how do you see this fight going down?
“It’s gonna either be a first round knockout like it was last time but in my favor or a five-round decision where I win all five rounds. I’ve been working a lot on being more slick with my punches, not making everything a power punch. Keeping my options open. I don’t need to find the guy in the first round. He’s a tough dude. He has some good technique. Staying away from his strengths and working to my strengths. You put two guys that hit hard like that and it’s going to happen at some point. If that doesn’t happen, I just feel that my technique is so much better that I should be able to pick him apart.”
Full USKA Fight Night fight card below:
Tickets available at USKAFights.com
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