Ep. #56 – Drakkar Klose

Drakkar Klose is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Lightweight division in the UFC. The former North Idaho College wrestler has picked up five wins in seven UFC appearances.


Drakkar Klose: Been busy been working, what about what? What about you? It’S definitely weird times, just just recovering man. I had surgery in April, so I’m just recovering from that. Just starting to get back into the the groove of things is just trying to stay safe, trying to keep my family safe, I’m cold it. How was how was training been through at the time through it the whole time? I know you just said you got the surgery, but for the most part of you still been doing any light anything light like any light training and he running any cardio uh yeah. Actually you know I’ve been doing all that physical therapy. You know I actually have we have them at the garage matted out. We have wall mats and zebra mats. You know: zebra mat sent us a bunch of mats, so so kind of kind of made it a lot easier because uh when Courtney was in camp for her fights, you know we did a lot of stuff out of the garage, so it helped a lot. What’S. Thea, what’s the status of the gyms they’re like? Are they opening up now? Is it already open? They were open, but now they just shut everything back down for another 30 days. So – and that said it’s rough – i man I’m up in Canada, so here it’s it’s been shut down for the entire time. Essentially, so gyms are still still shut down and they just opened up like regular gyms but doesn’t doesn’t help anybody, especially if you’re trying to do jiu-jitsu or anything like that. Yeah, it’s crazy like they, you know they don’t shut down like barber shops or a restaurant. You know what I mean and it’s still can get them catch it. You know at those places yeah it’s weird, because it’s they don’t consider the gym, an essential service, which i think is silly because a lot of people it’s it, helps a lot of people with mental illness and all this other stuff as well. So I think it’s. I think it’s silly, it’s not considered an essential service personally, but but who am i right? I’M not. I know me, then any sort of politicians, so I guess I’d like to start a little bit about talking about Courtney’s performance actually yeah. She looked really really good right after the pandemic, she pulled off a very impressive submission and then she had a quick turnaround and didn’t go her way. So I’d like to kind of like talk a little bit about what it was like to corner, throw like in an empty arena and did did that play any factor. I guess on either of her performances. No, actually, I think it benefits her. You know not having a crowd there. You know she doesn’t really have to think too much. You know the crowd. You know that kind of kind of messes. What you know when you hear people scream and all that you kind of want to put on a show for them, but at the end of the day, you’re in there for yourself kind of win, you know it’s it sucks that you have to. You have to win this, you have to win the fight. You know, if not you only gon na get paid once yeah. Do you think I like some fighters, for example, I feel like I got Conor McGregor or one of these, these guys who really like the spotlight, I feel like they would thrive with with the crowd other fighters may not as much and and do you find for Yourself personally, do you find that may be an empty arena? May bent benefit you? Oh yeah, a lot of people. You know that’s they liked. You know that crowd that type of environment. No, even like my last fight. No, I think I’ll. Let the crowd kind of play into that fight. You know like when I had clipped them. You know I let my guard down and I was just like a lot banished him. You know because I remember looking into the into the crowd – and I see my urn man and Michael heard it so I’m like dude, I’m not to put a show off for these yeah. It was a I mean it was a crazy, crazy fight. I mean it back and forth really exciting. You had him wobbled unfortunate. The way it ended. Is it a little bit of bittersweet, seeing him jump up in the top 15, because I was someone who was. I was a fan of yours ever since you essentially derailed Marc da Kesey, and I was like this guy’s right there I mean one or two big fights away, and it just feels like that was your shot and there’s a little bit bittersweet, seeing him jump up To the top 15, not at all, because you know I think it in in messed up my stock at all. You know it was just mental errors. You know that that should be me. I think he’s number 14 now that should be me, but I’m not too worried. You know if I go out there and my next. If I have a great performance, I believe I can fight. You know someone else in that top 15 and it was just a learning curve for me and most let’s just say over half of my fights have been in the UFC. So to me, I’m still kind of young in this game, just another, a learning step to know catapult my career. You have an idea of our timeline, I guess on or potential return you’re recovering from surgery, but is there an idea? Is it weeks? Is it months or is it a longer term time that you’re gon na be on the sidelines? I don’t know I need to sit down with my manager cuz, I’m thinking I’m trying to look at September October, but I I wouldn’t mind fighting out 170 I’ll fight. You know if it’s a good matchup for me. You know, jump up at 170 and try it do you think that might be a permanent thing or is it just an experimental? Let’S try this thing and if it doesn’t work I’ll, come back down Justice Breyer right now, cuz, you know I’m a little heavy right now. So I think I think a lot of people are moving up weight classes or at least trying out new things. Ya know. Just be, you know, there’s a lot of guys that I think I know I can be at 170. You know just get up there and if I can find them, you know just go get that that women then just go back down 155. Is there a? Is there an opponent in mind or anything like that, or is it just? Let’S just wait to hear what they say: um for mourn 155 Hernandez! That’S what one fight! I think, that’s a great matchup! That’S actually like right after his fight. I was like I love to see that fight because he was a top-15 right. So if you you bet, you beat him, you make a name for yourself and possibly jump into the top 15, either ham or you know Alec winter. However, I don’t know how he’s still ranked in the top 15, he hasn’t fallen and forever. You know you know, I mean it’s kind of crazy how those rankings work. Are you a? Are you a fan of the rankings? I know a lot like for me as a fan, not not so much as a fighter. I like it, because it really helps kind of see where people are in terms of the division, but I could feel as a fighter if you’re like number 11. Why would you fight someone not in the top 15 like it just doesn’t make any sense? Do you think it like really sucks for fighters outside the top 15 and there you were fan of them in general? I don’t really don’t like it, because it’s if you look at it’s just a popularity contest yeah, you know, there’s I’m pretty sure, there’s a lot of guys. That’S not ranked in the top 15 that can beat. You know the top, those top guys. But you know it’s a business, so you know if you’re not putting people in the seats and eyes, you know they’re, not gon na they’re, not gon na put you in those rankings. You know one thing. One thing I noticed a lot about about your career. I was going through a screaming through your Wikipedia page, your topology and you’ve never fought outside of the US. Is there a reason for that or is it? Is it like uncomfortable in the US or did the opportunity just never cut, never show up? No I’ll have a passport, and you know I always tell my own, except my manager like hey, I’m not trying to fight outside of the US. Could you have to pay taxes over there and then you get taxed back over here. So it’s like at the end of day, I’m I’m fighting for like seven dollars an hour, so a good point I’d never looked at it. That way. I always looked at it like an experience to go travel the world like how crazy would be to be on a like fight, island right now, but but yeah. I can do that after I’m been fighting a very good point, very good point, I’m in Canada. So I’d love to see you fight. So if there’s ever something up in Halifax, you let me know yeah. You know I heard Mike Perry Mike Perry, crying talking him on that crying, but talking about taxes, man like man, it sucks how they hit you know. So it’s like: well, they double tax, dude yeah. I really like this point. Cuz he’s like yeah. We make 50 grand 50 grand or 20 and 20 whatever it is, but at the end of the year they take most of it. Like he’s like, I don’t not asking for more money, I’m just asking to keep what I’m supposed to make yeah yeah it’s it’s it’s different because it’s like we are contractors, not necessarily employees, yeah, and that’s what I kind of learned about with this taxes. You know what I mean: it’s like you got ta, make sure you say you save that money and put it away to pay those taxes because they’re, not you wan na, be yeah. I’Ve been uh. I’Ve been a fan of yours for a long time, especially since you’re beep mark dia keys. There was a lot of bad blood and going into that fight. Is there a fight in your career so far that stands out amongst the others is like? Oh, that one was great that was a either an amazing stoppage or amazing performance or with all the animosity going into it. Is there one fight that stands out? Amongst the rest? Oh no. I think. I think that one was a hi there up there, his top, because dude that whole fight week, it was crazy, like he was just talking: [ __ ] the whole time, and it’s like my dude we’re gon na scrap dude, I’m not no little punk, I’m not Like these, like I’m about this and then went one to one out there, you know I just got the job done, but it you know, what’s craziest, I’m cool with them now you know I you know always congratulate him and you know always hit him up on Instagram – and he does the same – I don’t know it’s kind of like we built a little friendship and kind of we respect each other. A lot more yeah find that a lot with MMA fighters, especially after they fight it’s like you, almost like part of you still in the Octagon, with that, with a person like we shared blood, we spike, we sweat the blood together. It’S it’s weird when you hear that, because any person I’ve been to fight with I’ve never talked to you again, so it’s definitely different from a fighter perspective. I guess when you’re, when you’re, both agreeing to fight and there’s no bad blood or anything like that, it’s just yeah a little weird like after a fight. I never like you know you, you see a lot of fighters like hugging each other. I’Ve never tried to hook the other fighter or you know what I mean I just like: [ __ ]. You just try to kill me dude and like what is the you’re proud to be Michigan native here, you’re proudly from Michigan you’ve got the tattoo. You moved to Arizona what was the reason behind the move and, and how has it changed your career? You want the you want the honest opinion why I moved out to Arizona. Yes, let’s hear it man I had got kicked out of college, so I was like. Do I want to go back to which snowing or do I want to go to where it’s high and at the time my sister was living down in Tucson Arizona? So I just packed up the car and moved down to Arizona. Oh yeah, I had a training camp once I’m swimmer guys, swam growing up. I had a training camp once in Flagstaff and it was the hardest training camp of my life. What is the, what is altitude done and how has it helped your career? There’S there’s not too much altitude of here in Phoenix but uh. We would love that there, a couple years ago when a Benton had a fight I, when he find Albuquerque, he did his training camp up there and uh in Flagstaff, and I had helped them in man. That’S burned your lines like if you’re not used to that. It’S like having a hundred pound weight, vest I’m doing, and it just weighs you down yeah yeah. This is brutal. I can’t I I can’t imagine fighting or anything like that with that amount of heat and that that all that would be it’d be too much yeah. Like I would never want to fight in Denver – or it was at Mexico City with the high elevation, I’m like not all pants, I’m speaking of speaking of heat fight island this weekend, crazy turn of events Jorge Masvidal on six days notice fighting for the belt. What’S your prediction for that fight man, I hope miles of it all goes out there knocks him out, but I don’t I like Mazepa dog, but I just don’t see him getting. You know this he’s been loosens been training for five rounds, but you never know you know, might come out there and throw that knee and knock him out and might be a rat, I hope and and the co-main event vulcan Askia and max Holloway. I love this fight. I know it already happened. I usually hate rematches, but max Holloway deserves it. What’S your prediction for this one, okay before you say it is there that why does he deserve it? It wasn’t close the first one yeah yeah. I have had this conversation, it’s like it’s because it’s max Holloway, like he’s been so dominant. It’S it’s not like. He got knocked out. I understand it was a decision, but I mean you could have made the same case for like steep ADC right and you saw what happened in the rematch. So I don’t know, is it? Could they could go in there and Vulcan offski could prove me wrong, but but I love Holloway, so that’s why that’s why I want like the rematch yeah. I think it’s. I think this is gon na go to the same way. You know unless maximum work on on checking kicks, but I doubt you know his style. I doubt she’s gon na be able to check those kicks and throw hands. You know he’s gon na have to compensate somehow if he wants to throw hands. His legs are gon na be open if he wants to sit there and be ready to check he’s not gon na be able to throw too many hands, so it would be interesting yeah. I have a couple more questions and then I’ll and then I’ll. Let you go one of them, a 1 1 9 and then they won so growing up my parents. Never let me join any sort of martial art. I think the the norm now is kind of changed with the UFC and fighters really just they’re normal fighters out there, where they’re, not all like Tito Ortiz, is and Chuck Liddell’s. There are some normal fighters, so it’s kind of become normalized. What advice would you give to parents who, whose kids I want to be involved in martial arts but they’re, not necessarily accepting of it? I think you know like. I was a troubled kid. You know growing up. There was seven of us, and then I have three brothers that were all just a year apart in in school. We would always just be bad, like terrorize the teachers and no fighting kids and then my wrestling coach at the time went to my mom and he was like hey. You should get him in wrestling and that pretty much gave us the discipline you know like once. We got into wrestling, we changed everything about us, you know our grades got better. We started respecting the teachers more and it kind of just saved my life. You know, because eventually I was able to get a scholarship to wrestle in college in and it just changed changed me into a man, not not like a little boy anymore. So how do you think? I think it’s important. You know it gives you that discipline and especially, if you don’t have a father figure in your life, you know. So how did how did wrestling outside of discipline? How did wrestling help with your MMA career um? Because it’s just it’s just you when you step on that man and then a lot many hours are just grinding in putting in that work and just teaching you hard work and and that’s what wrestling does, because if you don’t put that work in you’re, never gon Na win a wrestling match, you’re, always going to begin pant, and it just it teach you it teaches you how to grow up a lot quicker and then, lastly, non anime related. Obviously, I’m sure you were doing some training, I’m sure you were hanging out with the family, I’m sure you were doing well. What sorts of things were you doing throughout the pandemic to keep your mind occupied? Oh man, a lot of swimming must my son loves swimming man. It’S like I kind of burnt out on it. I would just go out there and just put my feet in there and just watch them swim, but we just did a lot of swimming. Why la would we watch ozark? All these TV shows the Yellowstone a lot of a lot of a movie time. Did you watch any Tiger King Tiger King? We watched it off and we you know, had this little chat with all my friends and you know we were just always hey. Did you watch this? Did you watch that, and so we did a lot of watching and swarming as a as a fighter? How happy were you to to see that the UFC was gon na go ahead and put on these events? Get something on TV outside of Tiger cake man? It was a blessing man, because you know a lot of fighters. We live paycheck to paycheck and a lot of people understand that we don’t get paid much and – and you know if, if I didn’t fight right before this pandemic, you know what I mean it would have put us in a real hard spot financial, wise and then Cortney able to get two fights, you know what I mean so that kind of helped us out, and so I’m just glad the UFC was the first to do it, because a lot of people would depend on those texts and stuff. So it kind of sucks for the the fighters that are in the USC like how are they supporting their family? You know I mean they were fighting, but now, since you know fight islands going, you know they could start, you know supporting their family a little more yeah. It’S almost like there’s, not only just the stress of having to get into a fistfight there’s. Also, the stress that you’re doing it for money, whereas NFL and all these other organizations, it’s like the money’s there. You want to worry about that. It’S just focused on the game and I think I think Emma may still have some ways to go, but I think, like we talked about earlier, I think the UFC is taking the proper strides and hopefully, hopefully we’ll get there soon. Yeah it sucks living paycheck to paycheck man, and it’s when you don’t know you’re gon na get. You know what I mean like I got injured. I don’t know when I’m a fight again, so it’s like how am I gon na make money you know so something needs to change. We need to get paid more, so alright, man. Well, I appreciate you taking this time. I’M looking forward to your next fight. I’Ve been a fan for a while. I know that last fight didn’t go your way, so hopefully you can rebound a big way, whether it’s at 170 or 155. Thank You Man. I appreciate it all right. Man thanks for the time stay safe, wash your hands. Don’T don’t catch anything now, hopefully we’ll see you on TV soon. Okay, Thank You! Man, time to you, stay safe, all right! All! That’S black!

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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