Two days after a stunning victory in his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut, James Krause was back at the Lee’s Summit gym he manages hard at work training other mixed martial arts fighters.
Krause defeated UFC veteran Sam Stout of Canada after Stout submitted the match 15 seconds before the end of the three-round contest June 15 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian-born Stout, a 16-fight veteran on the UFC circuit, succumbed to the guillotine choke, Krause’s signature move.
Krause took the fight against Stout on only two weeks notice.
“That’s (Krause’s) go-to move,” said Brain Davidson, owner of Lee’s Summit-based Grind House Mixed Martial Arts. Krause serves as the gym’s general manager, coach, and is an MMA veteran who made his UFC debut a memorable one. “We saw interview after interview of Sam Stout saying, ‘I’ve got to watch out for the guillotine, I’ve got to watch out for the guillotine.’
“We had no doubt in our minds that Sam Stout had been training on guillotine defense. Krause wasn’t going to go to the guillotine unless it was there. It was there with 15 seconds to go, and he went for it, and obviously finished it. The fact that he got the submission in that short of time is the second latest submission in UFC history. That shows you can’t mess with that guillotine. You’re going to go to sleep, unless you tap out.”
Surprise win aside, Krause was back at work June 17 helping a stable of nearly one dozen fighters prepare for upcoming challenges. Three of those fighters are a part of the UFC, the holy grail of mixed martial arts.
“Whenever you are in a training camp, all of these guys are in here helping me everyday,” Krause said of a roster that includes UFC competitors Tim Elliott and Zak Cummings. A fourth member of the gym is a UFC fighter as well, but Krause was tight lipped about unveiling the name. “They basically come in here to help me out. There are guys in here that I know probably don’t want to be here, but they are just here to help me get ready because they know it’s an important fight to me. I call them soldiers.
“Our soldiers here, whenever it’s their turn, I have to be in here. I can’t really do anything physically because I’m banged up from my fight, but it’s my responsibility to be here and help them in any way I can because that’s what a team is all about. A lot of people think MMA is an individual sport, but it’s far from that.”
The victory over Stout came with a fight check and two bonus checks worth $50,000 each. The first bonus came in the form of the best submission of the night, and the other bonus was for fight of the night. Krause termed the payout a “life changer.”
“I’m going to put my wife through medical school,” he said.
Davidson, also owner of Kids 2 Leaders Martial Arts Academy in Lee’s Summit, said Krause’s successful debut was hardly a surprise for the fighters that train at Grind House. The win, Davidson said, further solidifies Grind House’s reputation in the world-wide MMA community.
“It’s neat finally getting (Krause) the opportunity to fight on the big stage in front of the world,” he said. “We’ve known inside here, internally, his talents and skills for a long, long time. It’s hard to get on a (UFC) show. Once you get there, it’s like instant (attention). It’s instant publicity; a light shining on something we’ve had going for a long, long time. And we’ve got more guys just like him, and that’s pretty cool. We’re trying to breed a humble, skilled fighter.”
Added Krause: “You’re not going to find another gym within 1,000 miles that has four UFC guys. Especially here in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, you know what I mean? I think it kind of goes to show what we are doing here. It’s really cool. I don’t think the community understands the severity of how awesome it is that a gym out of Lee’s Summit can produced guys like this. UFC is the NFL of fighting; it’s the NBA of fighting. Not too many people can compete at that level. We have 12 guys in here training (June 19) and a quarter of them are in the UFC, and that’s just amazing.”