Engage with me for a little story, if you will. If you know me at all, you know I’m an avid MMA fan. This blog is going to center on a fighter by the name of James Krause.
The very first time I saw James fight was June 7th, 2009. My fiancee and I were out at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, and on one of the projector screens was WEC 41. We were casually paying attention, and then saw the on-screen graphic detailing him as fighting out of Lee’s Summit MO (via Grindhouse MMA). That got my attention instantly. Unfortunately, he’d lose via rear-naked choke to Donald Cerrone in what would be the first loss on his professional record (he was 10-0 before this event). After tweeting about the fight, James actually beat me to the punch (no pun intended) and followed me on Twitter before I’d had a chance to search for him and follow him. I thought that was pretty cool, and I haven’t forgotten that.
Here we are, four years later, and I’ve followed him through various promotions – WEC, Titan Fighting Championships, Bellator, and most recently, Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Last year, he was one of the 32 finalists picked to go to Las Vegas and fight to enter the house on that season of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, he lost his fight and never made it into the house for the season. After that, he’d go on a 4-0 streak with RFA to improve his professional record to 19-4.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on a few occasions, including one to purchase and pick up one of his walkout shirts for my fiancee as a Christmas present instead of doing the order-and-ship method. He couldn’t be a nicer guy, and although I’ve yet to meet her, his wife seems to be a perfect match for him in personality and character (and they’re THAT couple that look so ridiculously cute together that you’d want to hate them if you didn’t know them).
Tomorrow night, James’ career-long dream comes true, as he’ll make his UFC debut on the undercard of their UFC 161 pay-per-view event. He’ll be fighting in the Lightweight (155lb) division against UFC veteran Sam “Hands Of Stone” Stout. The fight will air live on FX as part of their undercard broadcast from 8pm-10pm EST.
I’m ready for the rest of the world to see what I’ve already known about the face of Poster Boy Clothing, James Krause: with relentless drive and motivation and a refusal to settle for less, hard work eventually pays off – both in life, and in career.