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Rite of Passage 5 - Derrick Krantz

Derrick Krantz (21-10) is Marshall, Texas’ most successful MMA fighter. One could argue that in a town of under 24,000, that’s not a difficult feat. In fact Krantz has made his mark on a national level, not just a local level. Having had multiple televised fights, he held the Legacy Fighting Championship and Legacy Fighting Alliance welterweight titles, and fought for Bellator. At Rite of Passage 3, Krantz took on wily veteran Artenas Young (10-2) which saw him win a unanimous decision. He returns to the AKA cage in October at Rite of Passage 5, when he takes on another experienced veteran in Danny Salinas (12-10).

Krantz is coming off a win over Kassius Kayne (12-4), a dangerous opponent with knockout power;

“I’m glad I got the win. I felt like I had no energy in that fight. I’m trying to reflect on my weight cut. I cut the amount of weight I usually do, but was forced to do it in a shorter amount of time and it took a toll on my body. I felt fatigued and gassed from two minutes into the first round.”

This is unusual for Krantz, who likes to outwork his opponents. Krantz is the first to say that he wasn’t always like that. Early on in his career, he liked to swing for the fences and would burn himself out fast. Likewise he scored a large number of first round knock outs in his early fights. Krantz win over Young in ROP3 was an important one for Krantz;

“Artenas took that fight at short notice. It went well for me on the night. Artenas can take a punch. I hit him with some good shots and he stayed up. He was smart enough not to go to the ground with me. I was dominant, but got a decision.”

Krantz, as he mentioned, has worked on his ground game over the years and achieved a black belt in Jiu Jitsu under Brandon Quik. Grappling, however, wasn’t the first discipline Krantz practiced. Krantz was introduced to boxing as a youth, and participated in karate and kung fu. Making a natural progression, Krantz moved his attention to mixed martial arts and fell in love with the sport. Loving to fight, Krantz took as many fights as he could as quickly as he could. By the time he turned professional he had already had an amazing twenty-nine amateur fights. That is something unheard of in MMA in this day and age.

For his next fight, Krantz wants to have a decisive victory, and finish his opponent;

“Although he’s from Texas and has been fighting a while, I don’t think I’ve met him. I’ve watched some tape, there’s not a lot on him. From the videos I looked at, he looks like a scrapper. He will probably push forward and push the fight.”

The last couple of months have seen Krantz working on his family’s new home. Krantz supports his family by working as a carpenter, and those skills have come in handy with the move;

“We moved into the home about 1 ½-2 months ago. It’s still pretty fresh. There’s still a room I have to do, but that can wait until after this fight. I’m happy my family’s happy. I’m 30 now; I have to make the most of my fight career.”

At Rite of Passage 5, Krantz’s fight with Salinas is of great importance. Krantz is trying to position himself to attain his goal. He wants to fight in the UFC. Many LFC and LFA champions like Krantz have been signed by the UFC in the past. It’s unsure why Krantz wasn’t, having beaten UFC vets like Brock Larson and having many of his losses against high level fighters. Most likely what damaged his chances is the number of losses he had in the past. Over the last four years, D-Rock has racked up ten fights, with a record of 8-2. The UFC likes win streaks, wins over quality opponents and finishes. You can be sure Krantz is looking to add a third win to his streak and will be looking to decisively finish his opponent.

To get the quality of training Krantz needs, he puts in miles of driving every week. His week sees visits to Shreveport to Elite Combat, Team 515 in Longview and Fitness Fight Factory in Dallas. On a Wednesday you can find him teaching at his own gym, D-Rock Gym in Marshall, a 12,000 square-foot building, with weights, a cage, mats and other equipment.

Krantz is adamant that the cardio issues he saw in his last fight won’t repeat themselves;

“As well as a better weight cut, I’ll see some more sprints in my schedule. I’m going to [pair] that up with strength and conditioning twice a week, and will get ten miles in on the road.”

With a win in this fight, Krantz has his eyes set on other opponents that will take him to his goal;

“I’d like to fight Erick Silva in LFA. If the champion doesn’t want to fight me, I need someone that will help my career. Fighting bigger names will be better for my career.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supports me. I would especially like to thank my teams and coaches. Also I’d like to thank Five Star Builders, Patterson Dodge and Toyota, Wartribe Gear and Perry’s Hometown Flooring.”

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