Undefeated German fighter Pascal Krauss (10-0), is coming into his May 5th fight with John Hathaway (15-1) with a ton of momentum. He took time out of his busy training camp to talk to onemma.net about his upcoming fight at UFC on Fox 3, key details of his game, and where he stacks up with the best 170-pounders.
CouchFighter: What led you to boxing at such a young age?
Pascal Krauss: I always liked to fight and to compete, so I needed an outlet for my energy. Coming from a family of athletes, it was a no-brainer. I wasn’t going play the transverse flute…so I started competing in sports.
CF: What did you see in Judo and in Gregor Herb, that led you to training in that discipline?
PK: Gregor Herb introduced me to BJJ and MMA. So he is like my mentor, and without his help and influence, I might not be here for this interview.
CF: Where do you think your submission game ranks in the UFC’s welterweight division?
PK: Hard to tell without trying it out. I’m certainly not as advanced as Nick Diaz or BJ Penn yet, but I would rank me somewhere in the middle.
CF: Being undefeated comes with its share of pressure/expectations, how do you keep all of that in check and not let a perfect record affect your mindset?
PK: Being out injured for so long was a pretty good reality check for me. In one moment I had made the perfect debut, and the next moment I was on the shelf for a whole year, unable to train for the most part. I’m going into my upcoming fights not with the mindset of an undefeated fighter, but as a newcomer that has to work hard for everything.
CF: How did becoming the Cage warrior welterweight champion stack up to your first fight in the UFC?
PK: I was fighting previously undefeated opponents from the UK in both of these bouts. While John Quinn may have been the more awkward and more technical of the two, Mark Scanlon definitely gave me a better run for my money. Not by accident…he’s been the only opponent of my career I wasn’t able to put away early, even if it was close.
Winning the Cage Warriors title was definitely a great moment in my career from an emotional point of view. It’s a title that has been held by Dan Hardy, Michael Bisping, and many other great fighters, and it really means a lot to me. Nothing beats making your UFC debut in your home country in front of thousands of screaming fans, though!
CF: How did it feel to learn you were fighting in Germany at UFC 122, then winning that fight in your UFC debut?
PK: It wasn’t that much of a surprise to me to learn that I was fighting on the card, as my management was negotiating with all major promotions at the time, but winning that fight was off the chain! It felt great when Bruce Buffer announced me as the winner that night!
CF: Do you think this long layoff will affect your return to the Octagon? And how prepared are you to come back?
PK: We will have to see how the long layoff will affect me. John Hathaway has also been away for quite a while, so we’re sitting in the same boat here. I’m sparring hard every day to get that ring rust off. I’ve trained hard for six weeks at the time of this interview and I’m ready to fight RIGHT NOW!
CF: What kind of shape is your shoulder in after your injury in training and are you still having any problems with it like soreness etc.?
PK: My shoulder is back at 100%.
CF: What have you worked in the most in preparation of your fight with Hathaway?
PK: I have brushed off my boxing with the help of Duke Roufus. I think Hathaway is a much underrated boxer and I can’t afford having him beat me at my own game.
CF: What do you believe is the biggest hole in your game and of Hathaway’s?
PK: I’m still having trouble timing my flying triangle at times. As for Hathaway, it is not my job to comment on his weaknesses, but to exploit them May 5th.
CF: You have several wins by submission but seeing as you train at Roufus sport, you probably picked up some striking techniques. How much has that affected your overall game and strategy going into new fights?
PK: Roufusport is not only about implementing a perfect striking game, but they also have one of the very best wrestlers/grapplers in MMA in Ben Askren. Training with Duke and guys like Ben, Alan Belcher, Anthony Pettis, and Erik Koch has definitely made me a better overall fighter. I’m 100% positive we’ll see a great fight May 5th that you won’t want to miss!