It’s amazing how fast things can change. Less than a month ago, James Krause was working out and staying focused for a fight he didn’t even know existed in his near future. He just knew when the call came he’d be ready. To prepare for a fight without a known opponent, forces you to focus on every skill with an intensity level that is hard for most to comprehend.
Striking, grappling, power, endurance, speed…you just don’t know which piece of the training will prove to be your biggest asset when the time comes.
When James Krause accepted the fight against Sam Stout, just two weeks ago, he knew he had to be strategic. He knew a veteran like Sam Stout was going to be a tough fight. But Krause was ready. Years of training, maturing and finding his own zone made them a solid match. It was an exciting fight to watch and brought us to the final seconds before Krause submitted Stout, catching the UFC veteran in a guillotine from off his back. Stout tapped to the choke at 4:47 of the final round. It was the second-to-latest fight to end by submission in UFC history.
“I hurt him badly in the first round with those kicks and knees but, with two weeks’ notice for the fight and with him being so hard to finish, I knew I couldn’t afford to go crazy to try to finish him,” Krause said. “I wanted to finish him, but I couldn’t chase him all around the Octagon hoping to land a bomb. I had to apply smart pressure. He hasn’t been stopped since 2006, and this is a big win for me.”
It was a huge win for Krause and his boys back in Kansas City. Not only did Krause submit Stout, but he earned Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night. The post-show interviews and the interaction between Stout and Krause during the event add to Krause’s mass-audience appeal. He’s humble and gracious. We are certain to see more of Krause in the UFC and we look forward to it. Krause is a great example for the sport of MMA. He’s a proven athlete with time on his side. Some people are calling him an overnight sensation. Some are coining him a Cinderella story. But for those who see and work with Krause each day at Grindhouse Gym, they know this is reward for hard work, dedication and years of training.
Hosted by BRB Management Group, Florida’s toughest amateur MMA and Muay Thai fighters, including former UCF Knight football player Muhammed “The Beast” De’Reese, will compete to raise awareness and funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 20 scheduled fights.
There will be six US Amateur Title Fights (two Kickboxing and four MMA) including former UCF Knight football player, Muhammed “The Beast” De’Reese (9-0 and 3-Title Holder), as the Main Event MMA bout vs. Edgewater High’s Chaz “The Hawaiian kid” Rooks (6-0).
The Seven Fightgear booth will also be raising awareness for the Orlando Bully Rescue. Don’t miss this chance to check out the Seven Fightgear product line.
Tickets are on sale now through the UCF Arena Ticket Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-300 and all Ticketmaster outlets. There are also VIP tables available online at www.livecagefight.com.
Earlier this year, Seven invited Jason High to help us launch Seven Fightgear. His winning fight record, elite skills in wrestling and stand up, and reputation as a tough fighter were exactly the combination that we wanted for Seven Fightgear. Affectionately called the Kansas City Bandit, Jason is currently signed to a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce, and part of the American Top Team. His background as an NCAA Division I wrestler for the University of Nebraska laid the foundation for his ground game, which is strengthened by his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, honed during a semester studying abroad in Costa Rica in 2005. High made it to the finals of the Dream Welterweight Grand Prix in 2009, before losing via a highlight reel head kick knock out to Marius Zaromskis.
In an article for MMA NonStop, Corey Smith wrote about Jason, “ Like his last name, his wrestling level is high, and his stamina is considered nearly limitless. Favoring rapid and relentless takedowns, Jason is known to fire off several attempts in a row, until taking his opponent down and pummeling him with ground and pound.”
Jason opened an MMA gym in Leawood, Kansas, with fellow fighter L.C. Davis in October 2011, offering the highest level of MMA instruction in the Kansas City metro. He now lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
Jason splits his time with American Top Team and his own gym in Kansas City, HD (High-Davis) MMA, co-founded with LC Davis. High is currently on an seven fight win streak, and many in the martial arts community wonder why his solid winning record against talented opponents Todd Moore, Quinn Mulhern, and highly regarded prospect Jordan Mein hasn’t earned him more fights or recognition. Jason did fight once for the UFC, losing a unanimous decision to Charlie Brenneman. As Corey Smith reported in his article it was “considered a head scratching move by many when High was cut after the loss, despite Brenneman being considered one of the UFC’s rising stars.”
Here are some other shots of Jason during the Seven Fightgear Photo Shoot. His sparring partner is Tyler Stinson.
Want to know more about Jason?
It doesn’t take long to realize that Brian Davidson is serious about Mixed Martial Arts. Talk to him about the sport and his infectious passion quickly illustrates how MMA drives his life — from the gyms he owns, to the MMA teams he coaches, to his advocacy for the sport. For Brian, owner of Grind House MMA outside of Kansas City, Missouri, success in 2012 will be measured by one thing: gaining a spot to fight in the UFC.
“I am so ready for a UFC fight,” Davidson says. “I hope I get a chance this year; I think I’ve proven that I’m not a one-dimensional fighter,” referring to his energized fights and unique style that has resulted in a 5-fight winning streak this year. Combining skills he established in Taekwondo (which he began at the age of ten) with Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga and Wrestling, Davidson has carved his own place in the ring.
Brian caught the attention of many in the MMA community with his submission of former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver at the Titan Fighting Championship in 2011. As the underdog, his rear-naked choke and ability to take command of Pulver with punches and on the ground maneuvers gave Davidson not only an early round one win, but new-found confidence and a desire for more. His continued winning streak has proven to be powerful motivation for someone who wasn’t actively competing.
“The fight with Jens Pulver pulled me out of retirement, that’s for sure,” says Davidson. “He’s a legend, and I just couldn’t refuse an opportunity like that.” After his win, Davidson didn’t look back, and was once again a competitor with his eyes on a new goal.
Before the pivotal fight with Jens Pulver changed the direction of Davidson’s life, he spent his days teaching at his two gyms, Grindhouse MMA and Kids 2 Leaders Gym, where you can still find him offering what he terms “family style” martial arts instruction. “I fight in the MMA ring these days, but my roots in Taekwondo are still a big part of my life,” he says. His resume includes a long list of accomplishments as a 7th Degree Black Belt and 4-time Taekwondo World Champion. He also spent four years training in Krav Maga with Gracie Baha in Orlando, FL., and you can see that influence in the programs he offers at his school.
Kids 2 Leaders offers students classes in Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Weapons, Judo, Sparring, Board Breaking, Israeli self-defense and MMA. “We value the core principles of the traditional martial arts by teaching respect, confidence, self discipline and self esteem. But we also combine skills from these different disciplines and show students how to put them together to be a well rounded athlete.”
Davidson says fighters get in trouble when they learn skills individually without figuring out how to incorporate them into a seamless style. “If a fighter doesn’t have a strategy and isn’t trained to use all the skills together, he’ll revert to the techniques of his core discipline (like Karate or Boxing) and not be ready for every scenario a fight might present,” he says.
“Wrestlers used to beat me – I called them my kryptonite. I had to learn those skills to win and now I have the confidence to fight any type of fighter because I’ve done the work … to know what’s coming,” Davidson says.
When asked about the future of the sport, Davidson says MMA is here to stay. “MMA is going to continue to grow. It’s the ultimate sport for physicality…a fighter does hours of cardio and strength training. They’re more agile, balanced and tough. No other combat sport is as complete as MMA…that’s why everyone loves it.”
Because of this, Davidson believes MMA will continue to gain a bigger presence on network television and become accepted in mainstream sports programs. “Parents are comfortable with traditional martial arts programs that are structured and focused on a certain set of goals. These programs are a great way to get students started. They become feeder programs for other disciplines of traditional martial arts and MMA and it’s a natural progression of skills and training,” says Davidson. “The next major push will be for collegiate MMA teams because there is already collegiate Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, and Taekwondo. Once that happens, it will only be a matter of time before MMA is in the Olympics.”
It’s an exciting time for Brian Davidson, as both a gym owner and competitor. “I love this sport and the competition … how it changed the way I train, how I teach, and what my personal style is,” he says. “I am excited about how this platform allows me to share the positive aspects of the sport with students and spectators, and to be an advocate for the many things to come for MMA.”
Have you ever seen a 265lbs man throw a flying arm bar?
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