SpitballingPod Interviews James Krause
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of catching up with ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption’ competitor and Welterweight contender James Krause. I’ve included the audio from our interview below although we had a few technical difficulties with the audio. Not to worry though, as the transcript is written up below in full. Enjoy.
Rory: Hi, it’s Rory from the SpitballingPod
Rory: Just to start us off, I wondered how you first got into MMA?
James: It was just something that I wanted to do. I had a couple of friends in High School that I wrestled with, so I tried it one day and I never really left. I don’t really have a cool story for this one, it was just something that I wanted to do.
Rory: Cool. I wondered if I could ask about your motivation to go back onto The Ultimate Fighter? Most of those guys were fighting for a place in the UFC, whereas you’re already an established member of the roster. What really pushed you to go back for a second time?
James: The experience. I feel like if you can make it through that, it’s like the ultimate challenge.
Rory: It was built with the idea of redemption. Do you feel you were still almost robbed of your own redemption, given you picked up an injury just before your semi-final fight?
James: Nah, that’s just how that show goes. With that show, there’s always gonna be a few things thrown your way, it’s never really just what it seems at face value. I expected that, it just wasn’t really something that I could overcome. These are the kinds of things that make this show what it is, and make it like a different kind of animal.
Rory: Of course. How hard was it being in the house? Obviously we saw some of your frustrations coming out just before your semi-final fight, where it seemed like a lot of the guys were taking a vested interest as it could have been a way back in for them.
James: I think the show is exactly what you make of it. If you go in with a good attitude and an overall good outlook on things, then you’ll get that out of it, regardless of what the outcome is. The thing I told myself is – winning the show, isn’t the only way to win the show. There are multiple ways to win that show; You can win exposure, you can win all kinds of things. How many fighters have you seen that didn’t win the show that went on to do even better than the people that have? There are multiple ways to really ‘win’ and I knew that going into it, so I looked at that as an opportunity to make the best of me. So I didn’t just worry about winning the competition. Of course those things happened, but it was the last week, I wasn’t in the best place – I took the fight with what felt like concussion, a messed up eye and the guys didn’t have anything better to do; they were just bored, sitting around the house, drinking, trying to have fun etc.
Rory: Just a final question regarding TUF – What was it like being in the middle of that Cody and TJ rivalry? It seemed really intense, and I wondered who you think will win the fight?
James: The rivalry is very real, I will say that. None of it was scripted by any means. We didn’t really have much going on, so it was actually something a bit different to watch for us, but by the end of it we were a bit like ‘you guys are just acting like kids right now’. I think I’m gonna pick TJ to win that fight; I don’t really have too much of a vested interest in it, I just think TJ is a bad matchup for Cody.
Rory: I’ve seen that you run your own gym. What’s that like being a figurehead there?
James: It’s good man, I really enjoy coaching. I enjoy all aspects of the game and it’s nice to have something to fall back on when I come back home. It’s really cool to be a part of something bigger than yourself
Rory: Is that something you can see yourself going into after fighting, we’ve seen the likes of Urijah Faber doing it?
James: Absolutely, I’m the head coach for a couple of people right now. That’s something I want to continue doing
Rory: Going back to your last fight with Tom Gallichio – how tough is Tom and how pleased were you with your performance?
James: He’s a super durable guy, I think I could have turned it up a bit more. With him you can’t get greedy, I felt I just had to stay consistent the whole way through. Looking back, I could see me pushing for it, and then him getting a takedown and choking me or something like that. I think I had a good gameplan against him, but he was more durable than I thought. He ate a couple of head kicks that I thought would for sure put him down. With a couple more minutes in the fight, I think I could have had him.
Rory: What division do you see yourself in going forward?
James: I think I’m gonna try 170 out. I’m not an undersized 170, I’m not a small or huge welterweight by any means, but I’m gonna try it out and see how it feels.
Rory: Do you have any names in particular that you’re looking to fight next?
James: I don’t, I’m gonna take the rest of the year off I think, we’ve got a new premises for the gym, so I think that’ll be my baby for the time being and we’ll go from there.
Rory: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today, I know how busy you’ve been and we really appreciate it.
James: Thanks a lot man, no worries.