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Newly retired James Krause: ‘I make more money gambling on MMA than I do anything else’

UFC Fight Night: Ortega v The Korean Zombie Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

James Krause is calling it a career as a fighter in mixed martial arts (MMA), but he’s still keeping a very close eye on the sport he loves.

The 36-year-old Glory MMA & Fitness leading man had been splitting fighter and coaching duties throughout the latter stretch of his 36-fight run. Last earning a unanimous decision win over Claudio Silva in Oct. 2020, Krause most recently helped crown a new champion when cornering Brandon Moreno at UFC 277 (watch highlights) this past weekend (July 31, 2022).

Quite the betting man, Krause put some cash down on his fighter and won big on the interim Flyweight title tilt. These days, gambling has been a huge source of income for the Newport News, Va., native — so much so that he’d be just fine living off it.

“I bet every single card just about every fight,” Krause told The MMA Hour. “I have a Discord [server], like 2,000 members in it, we crush it. Last week, we destroyed it. I take over people’s accounts and play for them, I do pretty well. I make more money gambling on MMA than I do anything else.

“I don’t make s—t on coaching,” he laughed. “Absolutely not. I mean, if you’re talking about time, if I go out on a Wednesday to a Sunday and make 10 percent off a guy ... if we’re not talking about Brandon Moreno, most of my guys are entry-level guys making 12/12 (to show/to win), 14/14. I have some guys making in the 20s but even at that, you get 10 percent of 20,000, it’s 2,000 and I’m on the road every weekend Wednesday to Sunday. It just doesn’t — no. It’s not even close.”

Krause (28-8) is no stranger to aiding fighters challenge for world titles, cornering the likes of Megan Anderson and Tim Elliott in the past. With his own career now coming to an end, it’s something he knew was an eventuality as he got more cozy in his coaching role along with injuries popping up.

Despite a lengthy successful final run that saw him go 7-1 in his last eight appearances in the Octagon, Krause is fully content with where he’s at.

“This last week for me, I had a herniated disk — I have a herniated disk in my neck — and it was giving me real problems going into that [UFC 277] fight week,” Krause said. “And I was very close to just officially saying it. It’s hard for me to [say]. This is the problem with most fighters is, it’s hard to let that go. It’s really hard to let that go. But I could tell you with almost 100 percent confidence that you guys will probably never see me fight again. And I’m good with that. I feel okay with that.

“I’ve said this so many times, and this is the No. 1 problem with the sport and the fighters — this has to come to an end at some point. It has to,” he continued. “And professional athletics as a whole has to come to an end. Football players, they don’t play until they’re 50. This has to come to an end, and unfortunately, we don’t get to pick it. Most of the time our body gets to pick it. I am fortunate enough to be able to call my shot now, and I can say it now — s—t man, you’re never going to see me fight again. I am done with this sport. I’m at peace with it. I have no desire to fight again.”