WINNIPEG – James Krause‘s life changed a few weeks back when he got the call he’d been waiting a long time for – that he was finally in the UFC.
But that was just the precursor. On Saturday, his life really changed. Krause (20-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) stopped Sam Stout (20-9-1 MMA, 8-8 UFC) with just 13 seconds left in their fight at UFC 161.
But it was more than just an upset win in his UFC debut. The performance won him dual bonus awards – for an extra $100,000. Not bad for a guy who had been making in the $8,000 range for Resurrection Fighting Alliance.
UFC 161 took place at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Krause’s guillotine choke submission of Stout came at the 4:47 mark of the third round on the prelims. As the only tapout on the 11-fight card, Krause won $50,000 for “Submission of the Night.” Then he won $50,000 more for “Fight of the Night” for his back-and-forth battle with the veteran Canadian.
Krause told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the fight that it’s not in his nature to go out expecting much less than a “Fight of the Night.” Taking the fight on short notice when Isaac Vallie-Flagg pulled out, Krause said the game plan was to be fan-friendly if possible.
“It was part of the game plan – we just really wanted to put pressure and range at him, throw some crazy stuff, be exciting,” Krause said “I love to fight for the fans. I’m not out here to get the decisions and stuff like that. I want people to want to watch me. I hope I accomplished that tonight. I think I did. But that was the plan – be unpredictable and pressure, pressure, pressure.”
Krause said that unsure just what might happen if the fight went to the judges in Stout’s home country, he knew he had to keep going after the finish even when he could’ve just ridden out a possible decision.
“I knew Sam was going to be really tough to finish,” Krause said. “That’s why in the first (round), when I dropped him with the knee, I didn’t really go crazy on him. He’s just such a tough dude, and man – I did not want to go to a decision here. I just did not. When I got hold of his neck, it was for my life.”
Krause’s previous appearances on bigger stages have ended in disappointment. In 2009, after a 10-0 start to his career, he was submitted by Donald Cerrone at WEC 41, then dropped a decision to Ricardo Lamas at WEC 44. After a win for Titan Fighting Championships, he got a call from Bellator, but was submitted by Toby Imada.
But after a July 2011 split-decision loss to Clay French for Titan, Krause has been on a tear. Seven straight wins, including avenging his loss to Imada, got him the short-notice call to come to the UFC. And against Stout, he didn’t disappoint – even as a 2-to-1 underdog.
Stout, by the way, had not been finished since a 2006 loss to Kenny Florian and has been stopped just twice in a career spanning more than 30 fights.
“I felt like I belonged here, even in Canada,” Krause said. “It’s been a long road for me to get here, and I think this was just one of those nights for me where I was just on. I don’t think anyone could’ve taken this from me tonight.”
His new boss, UFC President Dana White, was impressed with him – and impressed enough to not just give him the “Submission of the Night” bonus, but “Fight of the Night,” as well.
White acknowledged that Krause fighting Stout was a pretty tall order for coming into the UFC for the first time. But Krause just took care of business.
“He looked awesome against a durable, tough, unstoppable veteran,” White said. “Stout’s had 16 fights in the UFC and never been at the top of his division, never been a ranked guy that everybody’s talking about – and he’s been here five and a half years. It speaks volumes to how tough and durable that kid is and what a tough veteran he is to fight for your first fight.”
Krause nearly made it to the UFC in 2011. As one of 32 fighters picked to fight their way into the house on “The Ultimate Fighter,” he ran into Justin Lawrence and was stopped in the first round.
After that, White said Krause tried to convince UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to put him in the UFC based solely on getting the shot at “TUF.”
“He talked to the lovely Joe Silva, and (Silva) told him, ‘I don’t care if you were on “The Ultimate Fighter” or not – get back out there and get some wins and we’ll think about bringing you back,’” White recalled. “He goes out and cracks off seven wins in a row and makes it back into the UFC and comes out and wins, and wins both bonuses, which is tough to do. It’s only happened a few times. He’s a pretty cool story.”
For complete coverage of UFC 161, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.