Jimmy Crute is set to end his 14-month layoff at UFC 284.
Crute last fought in December of 2021 when he suffered a KO loss to Jamahal Hill. A couple of months later, Crute revealed he would be going under the knife for a serious knee injury. After rehabbing it, the timing worked out for him to have his return fight at home in Australia.
“I was super excited, mate, as I had the year off pretty much and it’s been the longest layoff of my career,” Crute said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I was just super excited to get back in there in general. Then, to be fighting back home in Australia is the cherry on top. I’m just looking forward to, one, getting back in there and two, getting back in there in front of my home country fans.”
Although having to have surgery was tough for Crute, he says the time off was actually good for him. He believes his game wasn’t in a good spot and the year off forced him to look into his game and training and make the necessary changes.
“It was a good opportunity, to be honest. I was trying to force my game in a certain direction,” Crute said. “I was forced to take a step back and really focus on my mentality. It gave me a good opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate where I was going wrong with my training. I’ve made a complete change to everything and I feel like I’m in the right spot. The injury happened for a reason in a weird way.”
When Jimmy Crute does make the walk to the Octagon he will be facing Alonzo Menifield who is someone he has had his eye on. He believes it is a fun fight on paper. But, he thinks he has improved too much over the past year and is a bad matchup for Menifield.
“It is a great fight. Alonzo is someone I had my eye on for a while because I knew he would be up there,” Crute said. “To me, he might be the only guy who can match my physicality. He’s a beast and it will be a nice fight to showcase my improvements. I was very similar to Alonzo in my past fights. It’ll be a nice fight to show I’m more than a physical force in the Octagon.”
The hope for Crute is to get a stoppage win and remind the fans just how good he is. Although he still is in the light heavyweight rankings, the Aussie knows fans may have written him off due to the year off and losing his past two.
Yet, Crute believes when he finishes Menifield and looks as good as he does, the fans will remember how good he is.
“The fans are such an important part of this sport. But, I don’t do it for the recognition, I do it because I love to fight,” Crute explained. “If people forget about me, it makes for a better comeback. When I blow the roof of the arena and have a performance of a lifetime, people will remember real quick.”
Should Crute get his hand raised at UFC 284, he says the goal is to get a quick turnaround and be as active as possible this year. He also doesn’t care who is next as he believes he is a bad matchup for anyone at light heavyweight.
“I believe I’m a terrible matchup for every single person in this division. I’ve never been a guy who picks my fights, I’d rather fight the hard fights… I want to be active (this year), I want four fights this year,” Crute concluded.
Do you think Jimmy Crute will finish Alonzo Menifield at UFC 284?