UFC Rochester: Derrick Krantz on How Short-Notice Fight with Luque Came to Be

After his last fight, Derrick Krantz got a chance to meet Dana White. That lit a fire under him, and it clearly paid off as he’ll debut this weekend at UFC Rochester against Vicente Luque.

Rochester, NY — Nearly every UFC card has a debuting fighter or two. That’s just the nature of the sport of MMA. High turnover, short careers, and injuries a plenty. It wasn’t any of that which opened the door for Derrick Krantz, however. It was Neil Magny and a failed USADA drug test.

Now, Krantz (23-10) joins the exclusive club of fighters who have stepped into a main card battle on less than a week’s notice. No easy feat, but Krantz has the resume, he told reporters including Cageside Press on Thursday.

“UFC is looking to grow talent. I’m not old but I’ve got a lot of experience so it’s hard to put someone with my credentials right in the UFC. So taking this fight on short notice really helped me get there,” he explained.

Perhaps the writing was on the wall. “After my last fight [at LFA 63], I got to meet Dana White. It kind of lit a fire under me. Like, ‘I’m just going to stay in the gym.’ I also signed with new management: Jason House with Iridium Sports. He was really adamant that, ‘You stay ready, I’ll get you there.’ He pulled through.”

“It’s just one of those things where it’s supposed to happen,” Krantz believes. “I took my first MMA fight on five days’ notice. There’s no difference taking my first UFC fight on five days’ notice.”

The experience so far has been a blur. “A lot of it is just going so fast. I’d say I’ve spoken to maybe hundreds of different people today. It’s been going crazy.”

There also hasn’t been much time to check out opponent Vicente Luque. Krantz wasn’t even sure how to pronounce the Brazilian-American’s name. “I’ve watched some of his videos, he likes pressure, he likes throwing some heavy shots. He doesn’t mind looking for submissions, he’s just looking to finish fights. That’s the way I fight, so it’s going to be an interesting fight.”

It’s a fight that, as short notice as it is, Krantz very much wanted. “My management told me they were looking for a replacement. They asked me if I could make weight. I told them I could. He sent them my name, then he said he was waiting to hear back. So I wanted to throw some fire at it, so I gave them a little shoutout on Twitter and Jason called me and said we got the fight.”

Watch the full UFC Rochester media day press scrum with Derrick Krantz above!