In about two weeks from now, lightweight James Krause (19-4, MMA) will make his long awaited UFC debut at UFC 161. The former Resurrection Fighting Alliance fighter will step into the Octagon to square off against veteran Sam Stout (20-8-1, MMA) on June 15 as a replacement for the injured Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
Krause has been on a tear as of late, defeating his last seven opponents. Of those 7, he’s finished five and will look to impress in the UFC’s first event in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada at the MTS Centre.
“It’s awesome, man,” Krause told MMA Fight Corner of his signing. “It’s something you work for a long time and not many guys get to say it, that they actually got to the UFC. So I’m fortunate to finally have all of my hard work pay off and I’m excited for the challenge.”
A former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Live season, Krause was eliminated from 32 fighters vying for a spot in the house when he was TKO’d by Justin Lawrence. Though he didn’t make the cut then, Krause explained that timing is everything explaning that he feels ready as ever for the challenge that lies ahead.
“If you watch the video, we crossed heads and it actually knocked me out. I don’t remember any of the fight or anything like that. I caught a bad break, I know it wasn’t a true show of my skill, so I didn’t really take it to heart too much. I moped about it for a week, then I went back to the gym, decided to fix the problem and here I am now,” Krause said.
“What’s really cool about this is the UFC has been making calls to my management, they’ve been wanting me to take fights,” Krause continued. “They asked me to take a fight about 3 weeks ago and it was on the Henderson-Melendez card. They called me on 6 days notice and the weight was just too much. It would have been like a 28 pound cut on six days and I said ‘You know what? I’m just not going to do it. I know I’m going to go out there and fight like crap and I’m not going to get to show my skill again’ – ’cause I’ve done that before in the past. I told them ‘If you call me back again, I’ll be ready.’
“So I immediately went into camp and I’ve been in training camp ever since. So it worked out perfect.”
With only two weeks to prepare for Stout, the 26-year-old Missouri native is confident that he can impress in his promotional debut. Despite the short notice, Krause admitted that he’s stayed ready ever since the last call from the UFC.
Additionally, Krause believes the Octagon Jitters won’t be an issue for him based on his experiences in the WEC, RFA, and Bellator. Instead James is focused on the task at hand and seems determined to keep his win streak in tact.
“I think it’s just go out there and do what I do. I got signed to the WEC a few years ago and my first fight with [Donald] Cerrone it’s kind of a similar thing. And I went in there and I just tried to do a bunch of stuff that I normally don’t do. I just tried to force everything and I tried to go out and just do things that I never do. Now I think it’s just go out and be myself and do what I did to get here, because obviously that’s what been working for the last seven fights. So, I gotta keep doing that.”