James Krause had the record of a grizzled vet when he faced Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at World Extreme Cagefighting 41 but the Big Show experience made him feel like a rookie in his losing effort. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Krause looks for his first WEC win this week as he takes on Ricardo Lamas on Nov. 18 at WEC 44.
“I’ve had 32 fights, total,” says Krause. “So fighting is nothing new to me. But when I went out to Sacramento last June, it was a pretty different experience. I was distracted with the media, with all the fans, going out a week early, and I even had a different weight cut than usual.” That experience, he says, will work in his favor on Nov. 18.
“I’ve gotten the first time jitters out of the way,” said Krause. “That was my first time fighting in front of like, 15,000 people, and having to deal with the media, so it’s nice to have that out of the way. Now I can worry only about the fight instead of worrying about everything else, and it’s nice.”
Unhappy with his weight cut leading up to the Cerrone fight, Krause feels he has his new routine down pat.
“I weighed 191 lbs. a little over three weeks ago,” Krause admitted. “This weight cut is going exactly how I want it to, and by fight time, I’ll be at about 180 pounds or above.” Carrying that weight at fight time on a 6’2” frame makes Krause a huge lightweight.
Despite the size advantage, Krause likes playing the underdog. “The thing I love about MMA is that it’s one of those sports that you don’t have to be extremely athletically-gifted to succeed in,” said Krause. “I like that you can learn different ways to beat the bigger, stronger, faster guys without necessarily being more athletic than them. That really intrigues me. I’ve never been the huge muscled-up guy, and I like being able to outsmart people, and I’ve been learning ways to do that since day one.”
For that, Krause thanks his fight team.
“Team K2L is basically the premier MMA school in Missouri and much of the Midwest, if you ask me,” says Krause. “We have UFC talent in Rob Kimmons, WEC talent in myself; Eric Marriot is in Bellator, and Brian Davidson is fighting for Strikeforce—and that’s not even mentioning our other great fighters. Those guys have really pushed me hard and given me the tools I need to succeed.”
Those tools, and the learning experience of WEC 41 give the fighter a relaxed confidence. “It sounds bad,” says Krause, laughing, “but I think I actually took everything way too seriously last time!”