After closing out 2017 with a split-decision loss to James Nakashima at LFA 23, veteran welterweight Derrick Krantz was looking to get things back on track in his first bout of 2018.
Originally slated to face Chris Anthony at Rite of Passage 3 in March, Krantz ended up facing Artenas Young instead, but still managed to pull off a unanimous decision victory.
“(Young) was a last-minute replacement, so I was very thankful that he stepped up and took the fight,” Krantz told MMAWeekly.com. “It was at 185-pounds, so I went up a weight class, but it felt good. It was a good fight for me. I felt pretty dominant.
“The guy was tough. He took some good punches. I needed to get that fear of the eye poke (that plagued my bout with Nakashima) out of my mind and just carry on through the fight. I got that off my chest, and now I’m pretty comfortable and confident again.”
With 2018 being the 10 year anniversary of his pro debut, Krantz is able to look back at his career and see the changes he’s made during that time.
“I’ve definitely reflected on my past fights and how I prepared,” said Krantz. “Really, it took me 10 years to grow up and understand that the only person in control of my conditioning was myself, so I needed to bite down and train harder.
“When I first started out, it was fun; I wasn’t looking to make it a career. I liked fighting, and it helped keep stress out of my life and kept me out of trouble. Today it’s pretty much the same thing – it keeps me focused. There’s always a goal.”
On Friday in Branson, Missouri, Krantz (21-10) will look to build up a winning streak when he faces Kassius Kayne (12-4) in the 170-pound main event of LFA 42.
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“He looks like an exciting fighter,” Krantz said of Kayne. “He has a couple of knockouts, so he hits pretty hard, but the fight (of his that) I’ve watched, he’s been exploited on the ground. I don’t see him improving in that short of time (from then to now).
“I know he’s coming to knock my head off and make a name for himself, so I’m going to go in there well-prepared and do what I need to do to take him out.”
While in the past Krantz has come close to making his move up to the next level only to be derailed, it’s not something he lets get into his mind. Instead he focuses on the fight itself and staying as active as he can moving forward.
“Honestly, it’s not focusing on (moving up to the next level), it’s just going out there and doing what I like to do,” said Krantz. “Instead of trying to make stuff happen, let it happen.
“It’d be nice to get in two, three, more fights this year. It just all depends in how it lays out. I have a family, and when I take fights, it takes away time from my family, so I like to weigh that out. I’d like to get a month or two off time between fights.”