James Krause has made a decent living as a mixed-martial arts fighter.
Enough so that after just four fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship — universally recognized as the top organization for MMA fighters — the Greenwood resident has been able to expand his Lee’s Summit gym, open a second location and secure a mobile phone business.
Krause, a 155-pound lightweight, faced Valmir Lazaro in the Fight Pass preliminary round of UFC 184 on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The fight streamed live on UFC.com.
Krause lost a split decision to Lazaro, who won by a score of 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Krause is now 21-7 overall in MMA fights and 2-3 in the UFC
His UFC victories were over Jamie Varner and Sam Stout. His two other defeats have come at the hands — and feet — of UFC lightweight champion contenders Bobby Green and Jorge Masvidal.
His contracted earnings are not public, but he won $100,000 in fight-of-the-night and submission-of-the-night bonuses after his win over Stout in 2013.
Krause parlayed those earnings and expanded Glory MMA and Fitness, the gym he owns in Lee’s Summit. In October Krause opened a second gym on North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City and celebrated the day after Thanksgiving the opening of a Metro PCS mobile phone store in the same area.
Those investments should come in handy after the 28-year-old’s fighting days are over.
“Fighting is just a short-term thing,” Krause said last week from Los Angeles. “My goal is to turn a short-term career into a long-term investment.”
Like most UFC fighters, Krause wants to move up in the rankings and crack the Top 15 of the lightweight division. He lost his last fight to Masvidal via unanimous decision. Masvidal is currently the 13th-ranked fighter in the division.
A win Saturday over the unranked Lazaro possibly could have pushed Krause closer to the Top 15.
“James is on the right path. He works really hard — he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing,” said Reed Harris, UFC’s vice president of athlete development. “It’s not easy to become a champion in the UFC, but it looks like he’s got the work ethic to get the job done.”
Despite the loss, Krause will return to the area with business to attend to thanks largely in part to his successful MMA career.
“I’d like to win this fight and keep expanding on my business ventures and keep progressing as a fighter,” he said. “That’s the ultimate goal for any fighter; getting better and keep winning.”