Not only was the Kansas City native on hand for The Ultimate Fighter 15 tryouts in Las Vegas earlier this month, but Krause also recently had to deal with a last minute opponent change just days before his scheduled bout.
Originally, Krause was set to take on UFC vet Chad Reiner (28-13) until an injury forced Reiner to pull out of the fight. Some 24 hours later and after numerous potential replacements, Krause was able to finally find a new opponent. All that’s left for him to do now is fight.
On Friday, Dec. 16, “The” James Krause, who is 3-1 in his last four bouts, will be looking to further extend his winning streak when he steps into the cage against Mark Korzenowski (4-6) at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 1 taking place at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Neb., at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
ProMMAnow.com’s (www.prommanow.com) Josh Cross recently spoke with Krause about his upcoming fight, his TUF 15 tryout experience and what it’s like having an opponent change at the last minute.
PRO MMA NOW: You’re fighting at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 1. Can you give us a little backstory about how you got involved with this card?
JAMES KRAUSE: I kind of have a weird management system. I don’t really know of anyone else that really has one like it. I actually have two managers. One of my managers is Bryan Hamper out of Blue Chip Management. He manages Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia and some other fighters. Then my other manager is Joe Wooster. He’s out of the Kansas City area and he manages some of the top Kansas City guys. He is actually helping matchmake that card so he put me on there and we’re just trying to build up some wins to make it back to the big show.
PRO MMA NOW: Now you’re doing a four part video log series leading up to this fight. What gave you the idea to do the videos and are you hoping that those who watch them get anything specific from them at all?
JAMES KRAUSE: I used to do them way back in the day when I was in the WEC and stuff like that. I had a couple of people asking me if I was ever going to do them again and for some reason I just felt like this would be a good time to start it again. I just have fun with them. They are a blast for me to do, and my mom likes watching them too.
PRO MMA NOW: Now your second video that you posted was about your time in Las Vegas for the TUF 15 tryouts as well as the TUF 14 finale. Can you talk about what both of those were like?
JAMES KRAUSE: It was really cool. To be honest, originally I didn’t want to go and I wasn’t going to go until I talked with my boss. He was a big time football and baseball player who had scholarships to go pretty much anywhere he wanted to in college, but for whatever reason he never ended up following through with that and he kind of regrets it. So when I told him I wasn’t going to go, he eventually told me that I had to go, that it was part of my job and he would pay for it. So I went out there and really had fun. The finale was awesome. I love watching fights at the Palms. I’ve fought there before and it’s a really cool venue. It feels like everybody is just kind of hovering over you and watching you fight. I had really good seats to it and the fights were exciting. Then we went to the tryouts, and at this point the tryouts are kind of getting to be like a reunion. I see some of the same guys tryout every time like John Maguire who tried out the last time I was there. His brother tried out this time and John is actually in the UFC now. He just fought at UFC 138, so it was really cool to hang out with those guys. You just meet so many new really people there. I got to meet LayzieTheSavage. I’m a really big fan of his highlights and stuff. I just met a bunch of really cool people. Overall it was just a great experience.
PRO MMA NOW: This wasn’t the first time you have tried out for a season of TUF. Can you talk a little bit about any of the changes you noticed with the tryouts this time as compared to previous seasons? Was there anything different regarding this season being on FX instead of Spike?
JAMES KRAUSE: Really there weren’t any changes as far as it switching from Spike to FX, but they have definitely evolved the tryouts since the first time I went. It used to be broken down into three stages, which were grappling, padding, and then the interview. So you would go in and grapple, and if you made it there you went to the next stage, but they would take you out. So basically you would go and grapple, then wait a few hours, then go back to pads, then wait a few hours, and then if you made it that far you would go to the interview. Now basically they call you into groups of 40 and you do all three stages right then and there. So the process goes a little bit easier. Another thing I also noticed that I thought was actually kind of cool was that there weren’t as many goofballs and people just dressing up and being stupid. There were a few guys out there and they were trying to be funny and catch people’s eyes but there weren’t any guys like I’ve seen before that really weren’t fighters. A lot of the guys who were dressed up goofy this time knew how to fight. There were just way more legitimate people out there this time and honestly this season could be incredible if they really put the right guys on it. If they are going after talent, the talent was there. There were a lot of talented guys there and they could put together an insane season if they really wanted to.
PRO MMA NOW: Is trying out for TUF so close to your upcoming fight a distraction at all?
JAMES KRAUSE: It can be a distraction. I didn’t really like the fact that it took a couple days out of my training camp to go there, but I trained while I was there. I went to Throwdown Training Center and trained with a couple guys there, and I got to train Tuesday night when I got back from Vegas. I just went straight from the airport to the gym. It wasn’t too bad. I only missed two days and I watched my diet. I don’t ever stop training so I’m already in good shape so that really wasn’t a factor. Basically I just missed out on a weekend. It wasn’t a huge deal, but I like to train seven days a week.
PRO MMA NOW: Getting back to your upcoming fight. Can you talk about your training camp some and how good you feel physically going into this fight?
JAMES KRAUSE: I feel really great. I’m in awesome shape. I’ve put on some good muscle and physically I feel really strong and fast. Everything feels right and I feel like I could fight tonight. I just feel that good.
PRO MMA NOW: Now you were originally scheduled to fight UFC vet Chad Reiner, but he just recently pulled out of the fight, so now you’re fighting Mark Korzenowski. Can you talk about what you know about Korzenowski and why Reiner had to pull out of the fight?
JAMES KRAUSE: I guess Reiner got injured. I’m not exactly sure to be honest with you what happened, but we went through probably five different possible replacement opponents in about 24 hours. We ended up with a guy name Mark Korzenowski. His record isn’t anything special. He trains with the Olympic wrestling team in Colorado. He’s 6-foot-1, so he is bigger than me. I’m excited to fight another 6-foot guy. I really have never done that other than when I fought Donald Cerrone, and I’ve been working on my striking much more since that fight. I’m excited to see what I can do against a 6-footer. It looks like he likes to come out and strike too so I think it’s going to be an exciting fight. He is a tough dude with a great chin and he’s hard to put away. Like I said, I think it’s going to be exciting.
PRO MMA NOW: What’s it like for you preparing for this bout when you have an opponent change like this so close to the fight like this?
JAMES KRAUSE: This kind of stuff seems to happen to me a lot. I feel like if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing it really doesn’t matter. Obviously there are game plans and stuff like that change, but I never just work on one specific thing. I’m always trying to be very well rounded, so to me it really doesn’t make that big of a difference. At the end of the day, as long as I’m sharp on the ground, I’m sharp standing, and I’m in shape, it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m ready for whatever. This stuff happens sometimes and to be on that next level you’ve got to be ready for stuff like this. I openly accept the challenge and I’m ready to win this.
PRO MMA NOW: Will there be a way for fans who want to see the card, but can’t be there in person to see your fight and the rest of the card?
JAMES KRAUSE: Yes, actually. The website is KearneyEvents.com. They are supposedly doing a live web stream on their site for $5. So to be able to watch the card for $5 you can’t beat that. The card is stacked from top to bottom. Watch out for Tim Elliott. I think this kid is going to pull off a big upset over Jens Pulver. I’ve been training with Elliott and he is a monster.
PRO MMA NOW: Is there anyone you want to thank or sponsors you want to plug at all?
JAMES KRAUSE: Yeah, I’d like to plug PosterBoy Clothing, which is my clothing company. I own it, and we just use a lot of the money to help out a lot of guys. I’d like to plug Grindhouse MMA, which is my gym in Lee’s Summit. We’re doing a lot of good things and putting people on the map. There are a lot of good guys coming out of the gym now and people are starting to get recognition. I’d also just like to thank my managers for helping me out so much.
PRO MMA NOW: What would be the best way for fans to keep track of what you’ve got going on?
JAMES KRAUSE: If you’re wanting to stay up to date constantly, Twitter (@TheJamesKrause) is the way to go. I just post the important stuff on Facebook, so if you just want like a brief summary, follow me on there (Facebook.com/TheJamesKrause). Then my YouTube channel is YouTube.com/TheJamesKrause.
Tickets for Resurrection Fighting Alliance 1 are still available and be purchased from the Viaero Event Center website here. You can check out the full fight card for the event on the Resurrection Fighting Alliance website.
You can watch the first three parts of James Krause’s four part video log series leading up to his fight below.