"You can't let the sport take your life away. … There's more to life than this."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) August 23, 2018
“The goal is not to prove anything to anybody but the goal is to master my craft, do my profession that I love every day. Make a lot of money doing it and use that money to make money elsewhere and get the hell out.
Man, I see some of these guys, golly…these older guys, they couldn’t quit the sport, they couldn’t quit the drug. I see these guys that can’t even tie their damn shoes, man. They can’t even form complete sentences sometimes. And I don’t wanna be that guy.
I wanna be the guy that quits one fight too early than wants to fight too late. I’ll be on the early end, I will. And it’s the money, you know what I mean? It’s ‘easy money’, it really is. It’s the easiest money I’ve ever made in my life. I have to train hard and all that stuff but I train hard anyway. I train hard without a fight.”
A common theme in the world of mixed martial arts is older or retired fighters hanging around too long or coming out of retirement to fight.
As easy as it is to do that and to come back for one or two more fights, health-wise it probably won’t be the brightest decision in the long run. And UFC welterweight and Glory MMA & Fitness head coach James Krause realizes that.
The 32-year old Krause has already had a lengthy career in MMA with 32 fights (25-7) and he expects it could come to an end sooner rather than later. Especially considering he has his coaching duties to fall back on as well.
At UFC Lincoln this Saturday, Krause returns to the welterweight division after a brief jumping back down to lightweight where has spent a majority of his career. He’ll be taking on the always dangerous Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 winner Warlley Alves.
Confident that he won’t be fighting longer than he should, Krause explains why it’s so easy to do so and why he believes you just have to be strong and fight the urge.
“I’ve said this a thousand times, typically your MMA fighters come from low-income families or broken homes or both. And it’s just like, ‘Wait a second…you’re paying me this to fight…? Cool, okay’
For me, I just don’t want to be that guy that I can’t even hold a conversation with somebody, I don’t want to be that guy who has a hard time tying their shoes, getting out of bed in the morning…
You can’t let the sport take your life away. I dedicate my life to it, but the sport will never take my life away if that makes any sense at all. I just don’t think that’s the right way to do things and I think that there’s so much more to life than this.
This doesn’t last long. 10 years, 15 years… If you live to be 80 that’s a small portion of your life.”
Krause vs Alves will be the last fight on the TV portion of the UFC Lincoln prelims which will air on Fox Sports 1.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/23/2018