James Krause has made a name for himself in the midwest region of the United States through not only his tenure as a mixed martial artist in the circuit there, but also through the entreprenurial aspect with his gym, Glory MMA & Fitness, and with Kansas City Fighting Alliance. Next month will mark the fifth consecutive year that Krause has been competing under UFC contract. The owner of four straight wins speaks with Tony Reid of MyMMANews.com in a quick Q&A session. Check it out.
Tony Reid – You started training/fighting one summer while you were on break away from college. Can you talk about how that summer changed the course of your life forever?
James Krause – “Yeah I had no idea that it was something I wanted to do. I decided to try something one time and I had no idea I would fall in love with it the way I did. The first class I knew it was something I wanted to continue doing. Even after first training and competing I didn’t know that it was my calling. It took a long time to realize that. But once I made that commitment to the sport my career has gone nowhere but up.
“When you fight I think it’s everyone’s goal to eventually be in the UFC. I think I just said that without knowing what it really took or takes to get there. I saw what other people were doing and tried to emulate all the successful fighters. I am good at seeing what other people are good at and emulating them.”
Tony Reid – Speaking of college, I read that you are still a few credits short of your degree. Do you take heat from the parents about finishing school?
James Krause – ‘I have no desire to go back and finish school. It will mean absolutely nothing to me and my family is very aware of that. I think college is super overrated. Obviously, you need to have higher education for certain career levels and certain occupations, which I agree with. For me, I feel like college is teaching kids the wrong things. Nothing I learned in college has applied to anything I do now, not even the business aspect.”
Tony Reid – You fashion yourself as a very entertaining fighter and very fan friendly. Can you talk about the importance of being entertaining?
James Krause – “The way I look at it is the fans pay the bills. I want people to want to watch me. I want people to say “Hey that guy is exciting to watch.” That’s very important to me. I carry that on my shoulders when I go out there to fight. Nobody wants to watch a boring fight. Nobody wants that. The Japanese fans and culture appreciate the martial arts and grappling. The American fans seem to want to see striking. I try to be good at everything. Being exciting is very important to me. I’m not afraid to try new things. I will go out there and try some crazy things and put myself out there.”
Tony Reid – If you could choose one fight from your career that every MMA fan should see, which fight would you choose and why?
James Krause – “The answer for me is very simple. It’s my win over Sam Stout. It was my UFC debut. It really was the greatest moment of my life. I don’t feel like I will ever have that feeling ever again. When all of your hard work and dedication come together to a point where you get rewarded with it by accomplishing life goals, and in that fight for me I was also rewarded financially with a double bonus. That fight was a life altering moment for me. It was the greatest moment of my life. It was a good fight for the fans and I don’t think there was a boring second in that fight.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone in any weight class who would you choose to fight and why?
James Krause – “The fight I really wanted was the fight with Takanori Gomi in Japan. I wanted to go to Japan and experience the Japanese martial arts culture. I wanted to fight a legend in Gomi. I asked for the fight. I lobbied for it on social media. Back in the day I asked Joe Silva for it. They gave it to Myles Jury instead. I really wanted that fight and they chose not to do it.”
Tony Reid – Speaking of Joe Silva you have taken some grief for the “Call me Joe Silva” moment back in the day. What was the weirdest call you got from giving your digits out?
James Krause – “Yeah when I was trying to get into the UFC I shared my phone number on live TV like an idiot. I had people call me and pretend to be Joe Silva. I had people call me and tell me I was a dipshit. I also had random people call me and tell me that I was an inspiration to them, coming from a small town and doing what I have been able to do. I thought the first two were hilarious and the fans who called me saying I was an inspiration was a huge deal to me. I want people to know that you don’t have to be set up for success to be a success.”
Tony Reid – Who are your favorite fighters to watch and why? Conversely, who are your least favorite fighters to watch?
James Krause – “I genuinely love watching my teammates fight not because they are my teammates but because they are great fighters and put on exciting fights. I like watching Conor McGregor. I like watching Dustin Poirier. I like Nick Diaz, I like guys that bring it. That’s what intrigues me as a fan. Like McGregor, he has something different about him. He is a very skilled fighter but he believes so strongly in the mental game. He believes he can beat Jesus in a street fight. I love that about him. I appreciate that because I’m the same way I’m just not so vocal about it. I really like the guys with that X factor.”
Tony Reid – So what is the deal with you being “The” James Krause all over social media? Is that like “The” Ohio State University?
James Krause – “I went to college and as I was in college there was another guy named James Krause in my town and that dude took all the social media stuff, websites…James Krause.com, James Krause on Twitter, all that stuff was taken! I had to add something. I didn’t want to add a weight class and I didn’t want to put “MMA” at the end as I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. I just used ‘the’ and it stuck.”