Usually, fighting couples wouldn’t last long in a relationship, and those around them would say if a couple is fighting they definitely tell them to avoid starting a family, but MMA fighting couples are a different breed. Just like fighters individually are a different breed. There have been plenty of couples in the UFC that have their own fighting career as individuals like Tecia Torres and Raquel Pennington, Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff, and Cortney Casey and Drakkar Klose.
It’s one thing to go through your own respective career while being with your partner side-by-side, it makes it even more special when you and your significant other are going through the same career, side-by-side. While Casey and Klose have not reached the mountain top of their fighting career, they have their son King, who’s right there along for the journey with them, and he has brought changes to their career as well.
In an interview with the On The Mic podcast, Casey opened up about her relationship with Klose, having a son together, and how all of it has impacted their career and training camps.
First and foremost, Casey and Klose knew that not only did changes had to be made for both of their careers, but the changes had to line up with their schedules as parents.
“We just decided screw it, we’re going to make a schedule that works for us and our family and what we needed specifically and so far it’s been working.
For Cortney Casey, having Klose by her side and knowing that they can grow as individuals while also being the best possible parents. It is the most important thing to her, and that’s why they put such an emphasis on finding a schedule that works for them not just as fighters, but as a family.
“I feel like it makes it a little bit easier to have someone who understands: 1) the time and the effort that goes into training. We don’t have an off-season, you’re year-round training, you never know when you’re going to get the phone call, and you always want to be ready. So for someone to know, we’re training all the time. If we go on vacation, we’re probably going to end up training. You have to a partner that’s like ‘Dang, we were going to California to see family but now we have to go to the gym three times a day.’
It’s not just a standard of being in a relationship with a “fighter” as Cortney Casey says, it’s about knowing the rigorous details of being in training camp and having to adjust to everyday life on the fly.
“You have to be able to make adjustments on the fly. And then also the understanding of the fight camp, the diets, and the restrictions. All that plays a part. I got to nap, you got to watch the boy. It’s good to know that you have someone that’s like ‘I got it today’ or if he’s in camp ‘I got everything, whatever you need I can do it for you.’ and vice versa. It’s good to have someone on the same page who knows how precious each little moment is and how much time is valuable when you’re in a camp”
With Casey having her fight upcoming against JJ Aldrich and Klose being booked for a fight against former featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens, both of them are on the brink of elevating their respective careers and she says she couldn’t be happier for Klose’s upcoming battle that will likely be a war.
“I’m extremely excited. It’s just one of those stylisticly, their both gamers, their both grindy, they like to feed off their opponent. I think it’s just going to be an exciting fight. On top of that, the name that Jeremy [Stephens] has behind him. The people that he’s fought, the people that he’s beat, things like that. It’s one of those fights not that Dre needed or wanted, but is extremely happy to have the opportunity to take a fight like that.”
In his last fight back in March of 2020 (the last UFC event to have live fans in the United States), Klose was on the unfortunate end of a wild firefight between him and Beneil Dariush, which would land Dariush the Comeback of the Year award at UFC Honors. While many spouses sit cageside and are usually caught on camera with an emotional reaction, Casey says she wasn’t bothered one bit by Klose being knocked out and knows it comes with the territory.
“I’m the complete opposite. That’s all he ever says is ‘it’s a fight anything that, don’t stress about it.’ If you try to gameplan with Drakkar or try and go in there and tell him too much information, he gets overwhelmed. You literally have to let him go in there and do whatever. When the Beneil Dariush fight happened, me and my roommate were yelling at him, ‘calm down, calm down’ and he’s out there swinging. All camp we were like ‘you can knock him out, you just have to be patient when it happens, don’t get too excited. And all of that went out the window.
It was kind of funny because I feel like people in the UFC are so used to going and getting the wives that don’t fight. They had me up and over by the cage before Dre was even up off the stool, like the President got shot. Security was asking me if I was okay and I was like ‘yeah, I’m fine he just got knocked out, he’ll be fine.’ It was a little bit different. It’s one of those things, it’s going to happen as a fighter. Your significant other is going to win or lose.”
As Cortney Casey and Klose continue on with their respective careers and big implications for their next fights there’s also another event they might be planning for. With both of them having a fight within a month of each other, Casey revealed that depending on how their fights go and when the UFC would like to book them afterward, they may begin to add to their family.
“Hopefully if my fight goes well, I can get a fight soon. If it’s going to be one of those things like ‘hey we’re not looking to book you for a while.’ it might be time for us to think about having another baby because King is about to turn three and we don’t them to be too far apart. It just really depends on how my fight goes and Drakkar’s fight goes and if they have anything lined up in the future for us. If it’s something we can make work, then I’ll take some time away and focus on his career and us having another child, then get back into it. You never know, if I get another fight offer right off the bat, looks like I’ll be fighting again. But we’ll see, like I said, we just have to roll with it.”
It’s almost symbolic because in relationships, just like in fighting, couples and individuals are told to roll with the punches and be prepared for the good and the bad.
For Cortney Casey, Drakkar Klose, and their son King, this isn’t just athletes trying to make a living, this is a family lifestyle, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310