James Krause has managed several careers for years. His entrepreneurial inclination has helped him provide for his family as well as helped give him a balanced mindset to his fight career.
Krause fights because he loves it, and focuses on winning the bout directly in front of him, without over-thinking where his place in any given division’s rankings might be. On Saturday, Krause won his sixth fight in a row with an impressive knockout over Sergio Moraes in Brazil.
When I spoke to him several years ago after he’d snapped a two-fight losing streak Krause claimed that he didn’t worry too much about whether or not he was on the UFC chopping block for release had he lost a third consecutive fight. He just wanted to win.
Now, with one of the longest active win streaks in the UFC, Krause is similarly not distracted with rankings and the title picture at welterweight. “I’m still in a similar boat,” he tells us Monday morning an hour after landing back stateside.
“The title isn’t something I care too much about, to be honest. I’m just trying to win every fight and wherever that leads to, so be it. That approach has been working well for me so I don’t feel a need to change it.”
Something else that has appeared to work well for Krause in recent years is fighting a bit less often than he did earlier in his career. Krause says he’s been able to train smarter and take care of his body while improving a lot in between contests.
“I get the sense that people think when there’s time off in between fights that you’re not doing anything but sitting on the couch, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he explains.
“In between fights I’m still training twice a day, six days a week. So, I had a year of experience, drilling, and when you’re training 12 to 15 times a week, that’s a big jump in between fights. You can learn a lot in between fights that way. I definitely think I’ve gotten better in the last year, and I think I’m showing that. If you look at the six wins in a row there’s a clear-cut progression in my skill, I think that’s very obvious.”
As far as his health, the 33-year-old says he’s learned to compensate for naturally decreasing recovery time with smart effort. “I’m not a spring chicken, but I’m healthy still. There’s no major problems, and I’m a little bit smarter than I used to be,” he says.
“Recovery time obviously isn’t what it once was. I used to be able to down a Chipotle burrito right before training, not warm up and still go out there and maul people (laughs). Now, I just make some adjustments. I warm up properly and do things like that. I feel good.”
Krause owns gyms that he coaches at, in addition to being a full-time athlete. He’s also owned multiple cellular phone businesses in the past and says he does guest-home hosting and is involved in real estate now in addition to his own fight promotion business. To top it all, he has a growing family, including a newborn son.
Krause’s coaching duties also involve teaching and cornering other elite fighters he’s trained for years, including UFC featherweight Megan Anderson. Balancing all this isn’t new for Krause, but it is gratifying to him that some of his charges are starting to get recognized as elite by the larger fight world.
“My schedule hasn’t changed. I’ve coached fighters since I got into the UFC. The only difference is that the media is just now starting to see who they are,” he continues.
“It’s great [seeing his fighters get more attention and credit]. It’s one of the most rewarding things in the world. If you want to accomplish your own dreams, you have to help others accomplish theirs, first.”
Heading into this holiday season, Krause is characteristically centered. He doesn’t have a list of fighters to call out, or a timetable for when he wants to get back in the cage.
For now, he wants to spend time with his new son after missing out on so much during this past training camp. “I’ve been on the road every weekend now for the past five to six weekends in a row. I’ve got a son who is 2 months old, now, who I’ve barely seen,” he admits.
“I know the media likes to ask about the future but it’s really tough for me to answer that after I get done fighting. When you’re training for a fight, the fight supersedes everything — it’s over the top. So, whenever a fight is over, I’m playing catch up. I haven’t been home much for the past two months so the answer for what I’m doing next is spending time with my family, seeing my son. It sounds corny but I want to enjoy the holidays. I sacrifice so much of my life for this career.”
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