James Krause is currently riding a five-fight win streak, but isn’t too urgent to step into the Octagon. After cornering Grant Dawson at UFC Wichita, the welterweight answered questions from the media.
Wichita, KS – James Krause fought twice last year and has not lost since 2015. However, he’s in no rush to get back into the cage, as he is fully invested in his role as head instructor at Glory MMA & Fitness. He was wearing that hat when he was at UFC Wichita cornering 13-1 prospect Grant Dawson. Both Krause and Dawson did their jobs, as Dawson had a dominant win against Julian Erosa.
With the lack of a scheduled fight and recent activity from Krause, one has to wonder if Krause is committing to the coaching role in lieu of his spot on the UFC roster.
“Both. I enjoy both. I’ve been coaching for a long time. I’ve been coaching since before I should’ve been coaching. I’ve been offered fights and I’ve said no. With all the stuff that Grant [Dawson] has been through, I feel he deserved undivided attention to get through tonight. Then I’ll entertain a fight in the summer if I’m feeling it. I fight when I want to. I’m not going to be forced to fight. I fight when I have the fire to fight, when I want to fight.”
Krause then proceeded to praise Dawson’s performance:
“My main priority was getting through tonight and getting him the W. He went out and executed beautifully. I think he had, gosh, six, seven, eight takedowns in the first round. We executed the gameplan really well. It’s a fight. People are going to get hit. He listened really well. And I think, more importantly, we have a lot to work on off of a win, so that’s great. I think in fights like that, you learn a lot about yourself. He’s never really faced adversity before. He’s been the hammer his whole career. It was really nice to see him hit a speed bump and overcome it on the fly. It was really, really awesome to see him grow within a fight.”
Watching members of his team succeed in the Octagon could remind Krause of that feeling of victory, but that feeling doesn’t compare to helping others flourish in his mind.
“It’s not even close. I get way more happier, fulfilled [coaching]. I watch these guys every single day. I’ve been fighting for almost 13 years now. I’m going on 60 fights, pro and amateur. I’ve been doing it a long time. I see the sacrifice guys like Grant have and it’s really fulfilling to me to be a small part of that. They put the work in, all the guys put the work in, he’s in the gym every day. For me, it’s really awesome, it fulfills me, it makes me happy to see me be a small part of his success. And to see him do really awesome things and see him grow. He came to my gym a couple of weeks before his pro debut. I think this is our 14th fight together, and we’ve been on a hell of a run. He’s doing really good and I’m really excited to see where he could go.”
While the drive to fight is not currently present in James Krause, it’s something that can return at any moment (as we’ve seen from many retired fighters). As for Krause, his focus is fully on coaching currently.
“I think [it’s coming back]. My first priority was just to get through this with Grant. I think once that’s off my plate I’ll get a little bit back to it. Being at 170 makes it a lot easier because I don’t have to grind day in and day out. I think I was up to 1300-1800 calories per day at 155 and there’s nothing about that that intrigues me. They were offering me fights left and right at 155 and it had nothing to do with the opponent, but they asked, ‘Want to fight?’ ‘Nope.’ I just don’t want to do that. But at 170, it gets fun again. It allows me to train and have fun. I can be a normal human being while I’m in camp and it’s a lot more fun for me.”
Being in a position where you don’t need to fight is rare in this day and age. Krause is currently in that position with the successful gym that he owns, the aforementioned Glory MMA & Fitness. On top of that, Krause simply loves coaching.
“I’ve been around this game a long time, like I said earlier. I see a lot of guys fight when they don’t want to, or they need to, or financially they feel like they’re obligated to, or they get talked into it by media. They kind of feel forced into it. I just don’t want to be one of those guys. I don’t want to name any names, but you see the older guys that have been doing this for a long time and you just see the fire going down every single fight. If I don’t feel it, I don’t want to be that guy that goes out and gives a subpar performance. And that’s what I felt like was happening at 155. You can watch my fight with Alex White and I looked terrible. I looked awful. It was byfar the worst performance I ever had in almost 60 fights. Going to 170, I fought a top-level opponent and did really well. I’m able to have fun again at 170, and when I feel it, I’ll do it. I can’t really tell you guys. When I wake up and I’m like, ‘F*** yeah, let’s do this,’ that’s when I’m like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s get a fight.’ It seems to come less and less, but I still enjoy it. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m not retiring or anything like that right now. But I do get far more fulfillment out of coaching. Honestly, I think I’m a way better coach than a fighter. I’ve been saying that for years. I really do.”
Grant Dawson went through a USADA scare and a 14-month layoff before his promotional debut. Being a part of that journey and seeing it come to its completion gave Krause an incredible feeling.
“It’s just awesome to see guys like Grant, and I’m just a small part of his success. I watch him come in day in, day out, his sacrifice, and all the bulls*** we had to go through. To someone who’s given up and sacrificed as much as he has and still push forward day in and day out. He didn’t miss a day of training. Not a day. That’s difficult for the people watching at home. That’s a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp. You’re saying you may never potentially live your dream, but it doesn’t matter, I’m training every day. I’m going to get better through this deal. He trusts me, he listens to me, and he’s doing really well. He’s grown so much and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”