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James Krause Answers A New Calling At Glory MMA

The Athlete-To-Coach Pipeline Is A Given In Any Sport, But In The Case Of James Krause, Coaching Became An Instant Calling For The Veteran UFC Fighter

Under the watchful eyes of James Krause, an MMA powerhouse is being built in Kansas City, Missouri. With ten-plus UFC athletes on the mat at any time, Glory MMA has established itself as one of the most competitive training rooms in the world.

Becoming a destination gym is something that Krause never anticipated would happen, but with the team’s recent success, the Glory MMA crew has been getting more shine than ever.

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“Anytime you hear compliments and reassurance that you’re on the right track, it’s awesome,” Krause said. “Early on, I got a lot of criticism for not going to one of the super gyms or whatever. I felt like there was something more here that could be built here. I’ve seen it happen so much where someone got good here and then left. How are we going to be the place if everyone keeps leaving?”

Krause came up on the Midwest regional scene and set up shop in Lee’s Summit once he had the chance.

“Nobody comes moves to Kansas City for Kansas City; now they’ve started coming to fight,” Krause said. “It’s been awesome watching the growth of it. There’s nowhere else to go [in the area], If you want to fight at a high level you got to be in this spot.”

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The Growing Greatness of Glory MMA
The Growing Greatness of Glory MMA
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Krause’s wealth of experience in the UFC and on The Ultimate Fighter adds a unique perspective for his athletes. The truth is that Krause wasn’t sure about jumping full-time into coaching, but now that’s he’s made the transition he couldn’t be happier.

“I took a formalized coaching role probably six or seven years ago; that’s when I was like ‘OK yeah, I’ll be your coach’ but before that I was just helping teammates out,” Krause said. “I probably should have gotten into it earlier, to be honest.”

Despite winning seven of his last eight UFC bouts, Krause is content with putting his career on ice. He’s loving the grind of being a coach. He’s loving being in the corner of Grant Dawson while he continues his run. He’s amazed by the dog in Julian Marquez. And most importantly, he’s truly content with the constant work it takes to be an elite coach.

: James Krause celebrates after his knockout victory over Sergio Moraes in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 16, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Zuffa LLC)
: James Krause celebrates after his knockout victory over Sergio Moraes in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 16, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Zuffa LLC)

“I don’t even think of myself as a fighter anymore actually. Once Dakota Bush fights, I won’t have a week off for like two and a half months. But I love it,” Krause says. “There is a certain demand for greatness here. We are very blue collar. Workhorse mentality doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me. I’m really big on doing more and putting the work in with these guys.”

That’s when Krause’s competitiveness comes out and shows just how motivational the 35-year-old can be.

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“I just feel like if we all have 24 hours in a day and I put in 12 hours of work and getting better, and you put in eight hours,  then I got a third better than you that day,” Krause said. “That’s just in a day; now multiply that in a year or 10 years and I’m going to pull away from you. Not only as a fighter but in a life perspective.”

It’s evident that hard work is part of the formula of success at Glory, and according to Krause, the other pieces are culture and organization. Those three factors are why we’re seeing Jeff Molina get a Fight Of The Night win in his UFC debut and why Bush and Karl Roberson have joined the team.

At the end of practices, Krause takes a moment to address the whole team and discuss training and other relevant topics. One of the common themes that Krause frequently returns to is that success is like building a house and that organization is key to building that house.

Dakota Bush Elevates His Game At Glory MMA | UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Spann
Dakota Bush Elevates His Game At Glory MMA | UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Spann
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“Organizing your game [is a huge factor]. If you look at any every other sport and it’s mostly in team sports, there are plays. There’s organization within the chaos if you will. In the most chaotic sport in the world [MMA] it seems to be so unorganized. That’s what separates the top coaches in the game,” Krause says. “You don’t just put a house together randomly. There’s a floorplan and there’s a blueprint on how to do this.”

Creating that blueprint is one of the most challenging parts of Krause’s job. But Krause’s fight IQ and his attention to detail is one of the reasons that the culture inside Glory MMA is so special and why Krause is so well respected.

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Another reason that Krause has respect from every athlete in the room is his personality. He doesn’t sugar coat things and he believes that is why he’s able to develop real trust with each of them.

“It’s important to have your athlete buy in and what does that mean, that means trust, right? Buying into the process is trusting who is putting all this together,” Krause says. “People gravitate toward that success, and they want that for themselves too.”

An emotional Tim Elliott talks with teammate James Krause in the Octagon after his victory over Mark De La Rosa during the UFC 219 event inside T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elliott's head coach Robert Follis passed away unexpectedly on December 15. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)
An emotional Tim Elliott talks with teammate James Krause in the Octagon after his victory over Mark De La Rosa during the UFC 219 event inside T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elliott's head coach Robert Follis passed away unexpe

A handful of Glory fighters are hoping to feel that success in the upcoming months and Krause can’t wait to see what’s in the cards for each of them. He’s confident that the sweat equity will be paid back in full.

“There is a certain demand for greatness here,” he said. “We are very blue collar it’s Kansas City, Missouri, man, it’s what we do.”