Jimmy Crute is ready to leave to the past in the past and only focus on the present. No other fights, whether it was a win, a loss, or a draw, matter to him. He is prepared to showcase a new and improved fighter.
To me, this is my debut and I get to showcase everything,” Crute said. “The last year has been a very hard year, and for me to get back here, it's just going to be good.”
The last time Crute stepped foot inside the UFC Octagon was on December 4, 2021. He was facing current light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill. 48 seconds into the fight, Crute was knocked out. Following that fight, Crute stepped away from fighting to get surgery on a knee injury he had been dealing with even prior to his bout with Hill.
Taking the time away to get his knee fixed was extremely important for Crute, but there were certain things that he missed.
“In the beginning, I missed the training, obviously,” Crute said. “When I got back into training, I missed the fight itself. Everything that comes with it is great, but just being in there and being in the fight, it's a feeling that I can't explain.”
After six months, Crute was able to begin boxing again and, after that, things slowly started to fall into place for him to fully start training. He is now set to make his return at UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski, in no better place than Perth, Western Australia.
Jimmy Crute Fight Week Interview | UFC 284
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Jimmy Crute Fight Week Interview | UFC 284
Crute was born in Singleton, Australia, which is on the other side of the continent, but regardless of how far the two cities are, he knows the energy inside RAC Arena this weekend is going to be unmatched.
“I can't really put my finger on it,” Crute said. “I know the energy is just, Australian sports fans in general. There's something about that. I think the fact that we love our own but we're not disrespectful to opponents is a big thing. I think we cheer for everyone, and we just cheer for our own louder and I respect that a lot. When I say we cheer for own louder, I mean, we cheer for our own very, very loud.”
The 26-year-old knows what environment he’ll be stepping into when he faces Alonzo Menifield, but acknowledged that he can’t get too caught up in it, noting that it’ll probably be something he looks back on and enjoys.
And as far as pressure goes when it comes to sporting the Australian flag, Crute feels none. The biggest focus for him this camp was improving all aspects of his game, and he put it as, “It was me versus me and that’s it.” But he knows facing Menifield on the first fight of the main card will be no easy task.
“Alonzo definitely possesses some challenges and obstacles to overcome,” Crute said. “I've got to be on my game. He's not an easy fight and I didn't want an easy fight for my return. To me, he's sort of similar to how I used to be, and it's going to be a great fight to showcase my growth.”
In a combined 31 fights, there are six total decision wins between the two. Crute has earned nine of 15 wins by finish and Menifield has secured 13 of his 16 wins before the final horn, having never been submitted in his career so far, not to mention he has only been knocked out once.
“I don't think Alonzo knows how to have a slow start, which I'm really looking forward to,” Crute said.
The walk to the Octagon will be special for Crute, and, he doesn’t know what to expect before he steps into the Octagon, but one thing is for sure and that’s he will be focused on the task at hand.
“To be honest, I'm just going to take it as it comes,” Crute said. “I'm not going to block out anything that I need to feel. I'm going to make that walk and my body knows how to adjust and get ready for war. I'm just going to let my body do what it needs to do.”
UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski took place live from RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia on February 11, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive all the action on UFC Fight Pass!