Up next in our Legacy Fights Interview Series is Derrick Krantz (10-3). D-Rock, as he is known to his fans, thrives on competition and seemingly never shies away from a tough battle. Having taken on over twenty-five total MMA bouts since his debut in the sport in August of 2006, the East Texas native travels to Houston as one of the busiest fighters in Texas in recent years. Now he is ready for another one January 29th at the Legacy Fighting Championship as he takes on another hard-hitter in Brian Melancon (4-1).
Local pundits have labeled this bout a potential fight of the night candidate and rightfully so, with ramifications for the winner possibly including top contender status in the busy welterweight division of Houston’s most notable promotion.
For those that have not seen them live, both Krantz and his opponent fight at a relentless pace. All four of Brian Melancon’s professional victories come by way of TKO or submission while D-Rock has also never had a professional bout go to the judges scorecard, stopping every opponent he has ever defeated. To add to that, even his three losses are nothing to scoff at, with each coming to fighters who’ve fought at the highest levels of our sport as UFC and Dream veterans.
In a December 2009 interview, local manager Ragan McDaniel of B3Sports labeled Derrick Krantz as a future MMA superstar, saying, “he has the potential, the look, the background and everything else to be great.” Houston fans will find out if that holds true when D-Rock hits the Legacy cage in a few short weeks.
Below are D-Rock’s thoughts prior to his upcoming bout on January 29th.
Thanks for taking the interview Derrick. How are you feeling heading into your next fight?
It’s been about 4 months since my last fight. I feel great and I’m ready to step into the cage again. Training is going well thanks to my coaches in Shreveport, Longview and Rusk.
How long have you had the nickname “D-Rock” and what’s the story behind that name?
I actually got it soon after my fighting career kicked off. There’s not really a story behind the name. Its just a name my friends and fans started chanting at a fight once and it stuck.
Looking at your record, I see you’ve taken on 25+ fights altogether since you started four years ago. Why have you fought at such a staggering pace? What is your ultimate goal as far as where you want to take your MMA career?
Well when I first started fighting I fell in love with the sport and just wanted to fight as much as I could. It (MMA) also helped straighten my life out by keeping me involved with more positive things. It really changed my life. My goal now is to be the best at this sport and I also want to influence generations to come in a positive way.
I’ve spoken to numerous people who’ve seen you fight and the feedback I’ve gotten is always the same – that you’re an incredibly well-rounded fighter. One guy said the front choke you finished Rocky Long with in Shreveport was one of the most impressive things he’s ever seen. What is your favorite way to end fights? Do you prefer the submission or the knockout?
I would have to say my favorite would be ground and pound! I enjoy hitting my opponents more than choking them but I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity for a submission if it presented itself.
What’s life like outside of competition for you? If I asked them, how would your wife and friends describe you?
Outside of training and fighting, I live a pretty normal everyday life. I work five days a week and come every night to take care of my pregnant wife. I actually had to ask them how they would describe me… My friends said I was hard-working, fun, and energetic. My wife said, “tough exterior with a big heart. Strong-willed and true to his ninja way!”
What about as a fighter, what do you believe differentiates you from the rest of the pack out here in Texas and around the nation?
Your next fight with Brian Melancon at Legacy is coming up in little over two weeks, what do you know about him?
From what I can tell, he’s a talented fighter with heavy hands.
Brian does have a reputation as a very powerful fighter. Anything you’re training for specifically to prepare for him?
I’m really just working on some of everything… so I can be ready for anything.
Do you have a prediction for how the fight is going to end?
I would say first-round victory.
Do you have any last words for your fans from Houston and all around Texas?
I want to thank all my fans and friends for supporting me throughout my career. I promise a great fight, so don’t miss it! I would like to thank Steven Garza (Rusk MMA), Brent Mason (Elite Combat), and Wade Pomeroy (Longview MMA) for helping me get ready for this fight to come. And also thanks to Ragan McDaniel for making this fight possible.
Check out this highlight compilation of Derrick Krantz in action, courtesy of Team 515.