James Krause looking for 'TUF' redemption

James Krause (white trunks) is going on The Ultimate Fighter again. Al Powers for ESPN

LAS VEGAS -- When the UFC revealed its cast of welterweights for "The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption" series last week, the inclusion of James Krause stood out for obvious reasons.

For starters, Krause (23-7) is a lightweight -- and a relatively decorated one at that. He's also already signed to the UFC, and is even riding a two-fight win streak.

The theme of this season’s "TUF" is to provide former cast members and/or UFC veterans an opportunity to re-sign with the promotion. Krause, 30, says he has multiple fights left on his current deal.

So, why put himself through the hassle of reality TV, not to mention the uncertainty of a tournament format, which is filmed over six weeks?

"'Why do it?' I know, I've been getting that question a lot," Krause told ESPN.com. "The main reason is that I felt -- I don't know if the word is slighted -- but I felt a missed opportunity the first time I was on the show. It was a wrong that I had to right. For me, this is mostly about the experience."

The "missed opportunity" Krause is referring to came in 2012, when he tried out for the 15th season of "TUF." In a televised elimination fight to earn a spot on the season, Krause suffered a first-round knockout loss. His "TUF" experience ended there. He never lived in the house or competed further on the show.

Of the 14 cast members on this upcoming season, Krause is the only one who is not living in the "TUF" house for the second time. All of the others earned a spot on their respective seasons of the show and went through the entire process.

Another reason Krause jumped at the opportunity is that he's been contemplating a permanent move up in weight to 170 pounds. The cut to 155 has always been a challenge for the now 30-year-old, and he's fought in several catchweight bouts during his career.

Competing on "TUF" provides Krause an opportunity to train with welterweights on a daily basis, potentially accept multiple fights at welterweight that won't go on his permanent record and face a level of opposition that is UFC quality -- but not necessarily the deep end of the weight class.

"The UFC, I'm not sure what the matchmakers think of me," Krause said. "They either love me or hate me, it seems. I've fought some good dudes and I don't think there's anybody in this house that has fought the caliber I have. But statistically, I have a chance to win this show and I wanted to test myself against these guys."

Whether Krause wins the entire show or loses in the opening round, his current contract with the UFC has been frozen until the show concludes. He says he will remain on that contract, regardless of what happens on "TUF."

Krause has a family waiting on him back in Kansas City, which he says is hard to be away from. "TUF" contestants are essentially barred from the outside world, as they film the show in Las Vegas.

Several weeks into the process, Krause says if he could go back, he'd still make the unique decision to jump onto the cast.

There is a third reason, after all, he raised his hand to be on the show. In addition to a UFC contract, the winner is due a $250,000 bonus. The contract doesn't apply to Krause's situation, but a quarter of a million dollars sure does.

"That's a lot of money," Krause said. "And I think I've got a good shot at it."