If there’s any fighter whose current career embodies the mindset of the upstart Resurrection Fighting Alliance, it’s “The” James Krause. As the word “resurrection” in the promotion’s name implies, its focus is on helping top-level talent get back to the big show, and that’s exactly what the Kansas City-based fighter is hoping to do.

Krause recently competed in the elimination round of The Ultimate Fighter: Live, but the 26-year-old fighter fell to top prospect Justin Lawrence after an unintentional headbutt sent Krause crashing to the mat. A follow-up flurry forced the referee to stop the bout and end Krause’s run on the show.

“It was an accident,” Krause told The MMA Corner. “Sh*t happens. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. It’s not like (Lawrence) meant to do it. I can’t sit here and dwell on it. I have to pick myself up and move on.”

Krause (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Although Krause has shifted his attention to his upcoming 165-pound catchweight affair at RFA 3 with fellow TUF veteran Amir Khillah, the fighter didn’t hide the fact that his brief time on the reality show was anything but what he was expecting.

“It was really disappointing,” admitted Krause. “I’m a pretty upbeat guy and I rarely let stuff get me down, but you work so hard to get there and it’s literally right in front of your eyes. I don’t feel like I got a fair crack at it—like it was taken from me. I will work my way back.”

Krause’s career path has had its fair share of twists and turns. Just days after his 23rd birthday, he found himself staring across the cage at Donald Cerrone in the WEC. His next fight came against another current top contender in the UFC, Ricardo Lamas. After a last-minute fight with Bellator—in which he cut 33 pounds in five days—Krause had suffered the first three losses of his career all within a year.

“I think it all happened too fast for me,” said Krause. “A lot of guys don’t get to the big show until deep into their careers. I had it too early. I feel like I’ve done a lot of maturing since then. If the current version of me fought me back then, I don’t even think it would be a good fight. I’m so much better now skill-wise. But I’m not one to make excuses.”

It’s the losses to Cerrone and Lamas, as well as falling short on TUF Live, that have made RFA the perfect home for Krause at this stage of his career. And he’s extremely happy for the opportunity.

“It’s another big show, an HDNet-caliber show that’s pushing fighters to get to the UFC,” said the Missouri fighter. “They are professionally ran, have money backing and people that know what it takes to run a big show. They know the ins and outs and have made the little mistakes before. I really enjoyed the first time I fought for them. It went very smooth and I was impressed with it.”

Krause (left) (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

Krause will look to begin his journey back to the big show against Khillah on Saturday, June 30, in Kearney, Neb. Khillah is known for being a Taekwondo stylist, something that can pose problems for those unfamiliar with the technique. However, Krause has a secret weapon to combat that aspect of his opponent’s game.

“My head coach (Brian Davidson) is a five-time Taekwondo world champion,” Krause explained of his Grindhouse MMA training partner. “He knows how to emulate that style of fighter because that’s the style of fighter he is. I really wanted to work with him and get used to that style of striking because it can be awkward if you haven’t spent a lot of time with it. I got to see a lot of those looks, so I’m not really worried about the awkwardness.”

Despite his opponent’s accolades on the feet, Krause believes that the fight on Saturday is destined for the mat. But regardless of where the fight takes place, he’s both confident and excited to get back into the cage.

“A lot of guys classify him as a striker, but I think he’s more of a grappler and will look to take the fight to the ground,” declared Krause. “He’s got good striking and grappling. A lot of his wins are by submission. There’s not one aspect of the game where I feel he sticks out better than me, but there’s a few aspects where I feel I’m better than him. So I really like the match-up.”

With a win on Saturday night, Krause’s career path will again point toward the big show, just as RFA intended.

James would like to thank Tri-Coasta, Poster Boy and Grindhouse MMA. Follow him on Twitter: @TheJamesKrause

Top Photo: James Krause (top) (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

About The Author

The MMA Corner Staff

Your home for all things MMA. News, Interviews, Event Coverage, Editorials. If it is MMA related, you will find it on The MMA Corner.