Former WEC welterweight “The” James Krause is on a roll, having won six fights in a row capped off by an impressive 2012 where he feels he showcased some of his best performances to date.
“I like to show everybody what I’m all about and I think I did that (last year),” said Krause. “I think I’ve done a good job of showing the evolution of my game.
“I feel that I’ve improved so much over this past year and I’m a different guy now. I feel like I’ve come so far and I’ve completed my game and fixed my holes that I had before and have come full circle and become a complete fighter.”
In particular, Krause feels one aspect of his game has grown considerably in the last year thanks to a new teammate at K2L Grindhouse.
“My wrestling has grown leaps and bounds from where it was, even from six months ago,” Krause told MMAWeekly.com. “Tim Elliott is part of the team now and I think I’ve picked up those little tiny movements and that gritty, grimy wrestling type of between fighting that Tim’s so good at.”
“I don’t feel like he’s evolved with me,” said Krause of Imada. “He’s kind of stayed the same the past two or three years since we’ve fought.
“If he’s goes into this fight that he’s fighting the same James Krause he fought two or three years ago, it’s going to be a big mistake on his part. I don’t think this is going to be a walk in the park for me, but for anybody to think I’m the same guy I was even five or six months ago is crazy. I think he’s smart enough to know that, whether he admits to it or not, I think he knows I’m way better than when we fought last.”
While Krause feels he’s changed since their first fought in April of 2010, there are some things he’s taking from their first bout to apply to his strategy for Friday’s rematch.
“Obviously there are some things that I’m watching for from the first fight, like how heavy he is on top and how I don’t want to be underneath him,” said Krause. “I’m prepared to get back up, prepared to stop the takedowns, and I feel like I’m complete.
“I’m just using the first one to pick and choose a couple positions that I don’t want to be in, and then the rest of it is just being healthy, having a good weight cut and a great camp – which I’ve had.”
Now that he’s established himself as a top welterweight prospect, there’s only one place Krause sees himself going this year.
“In a perfect world, I’m in the UFC after this next fight,” he said. “They called me to fight Yves Edwards when he fought (Jeremy) Stevens, they ended up giving Stevens the fight instead of me… so I know I’m on their radar.
“I’ve basically been in training since November, so I need a couple weeks off to have fun with it again and not have to be balls-to-the-wall in the gym all the time. So I’m prepared to wait it out if I have to.”