By Lance Edwards
Derrick Krantz (21-10) is no stranger to the fans of LFA. The former welterweight champion lost his belt by split decision in September of 2017. James Nakashimna (7-0) took D-Rock, who was making his first title defense, through all five rounds. Krantz has started his path to redemption, and faces off against Kassius Kayne (12-4) in a fight that sees him wrangling his way towards regaining the title.
Krantz was by no means happy with the result, and feels that his drive to keep fighting and give the fans a good fight cost him the title.
“I fought the fight handicapped, I couldn’t see in one eye. In the first round, he stabbed me in the eye with a finger. I couldn’t see for a month, and I was actually really worried it may have damaged it permanently. It was a fight, so I couldn’t quit. I was ticked off and fighting with anger. It wasn’t my night.
“You live and learn. I can’t change it, but I can learn from it. I learned that I need to protect my eyes and communicate more with my corner. I told the ref and doctor I couldn’t see. They gave me six minutes and asked me if I could fight. Of course I said I could, ask any fighter and they’ll say yes. If I’d communicated what was going on to my corner, they probably would have had it stopped.
“I want a rematch and want to impose my will on the fight. That is a fight I’d like again. We’ll see if it happens in the future.”
Krantz is coming off a victory over Legacy Fighting Championship and Shark Fights veteran, Artenas ‘Chico’ Young (10-14) in another promotion.
“Artenas was last minute replacement. I moved up a weight class for the fight. He had quite a lot of reach and was taller than me. Despite it being at middleweight, it wasn’t too different from fighting other guys. Most of the fight was standup. I dropped him a few times. I tried to jump on him, but he would jump right up.”
Kayne, Krantz’s next opponent, is a veteran of RFA and previously had a fight in LFA. He’s a tough opponent who has a number of stoppages on his record and the ability to submit opponents.
“I watched some film on him, I’ve seen him both win and lose. He seems like a good power puncher and has a good chin. He’s a good fighter. He has reach on me, but that’s nothing new. I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
Krantz is from Marshall, TX, a city with less than thirty thousand residents where he owns and runs the only MMA and boxing gym in the city. In addition, he works, has a family and trains. Not an easy accomplishment.
Krantz’s training regime normally consists of a fair amount of driving around Texas. Coming from a smaller town, he has had to do so to train with high level training partners.
Krantz has been a long time training partner of Kevin Aguilar, who put on a stellar performance at LFA 41, knocking out Thanh Le (8-2) to defend the featherweight title.
“Me (sic) and Kevin camped together. It was well timed as we pushed each other. He did what he needed to do. Thanh is a tough guy, and he showed where he’s at.”
One of Krantz greatest strengths is his endurance, and anyone facing him has to be prepared that if the fight goes into later rounds he will maintain a good pace.
“I feel like my cardio is on point. I should never have a problem with gassing out, with as much cardio as I train. I haven’t been going to Dallas as often this camp. I pretty much keep to the same training formula that works for me. I guess the only thing different is that I bought a house and have been remodeling it when I have time. I’m ready to go out there this Friday and make a statement and make a bit of cash. Then I’ll do something with this house.”
Krantz enjoys fighting. He also likes to fight frequently.
“After this I want another fight with another check. If I made it a good fight and do what I want to do, I’d fight again in two weeks if I could. When I started, I used to fight every weekend. I enjoy it. I love the sport, it’s fun. I like the competition. I fell in love with everything about it. I’m thirty years old and have to take advantage of it right now when I can.
“I’ve fought and beaten guys who are in the UFC now. I have to keep going out there and winning one fight at a time, but I’d like to get there. The main thing is that I have to go out there enjoy it, and not sweat the small stuff. When I do that, my performance improves and actions speak louder than words.
“I’d like to thank Five Star Builders, Patterson Dodge and Toyota, Wartribe Gear and Perrys Hometown Flooring. It’s great having folks who support you and truly believe in your abilities.”