Australian light heavyweight Jimmy Crute will be the centre of attention at his next fight, but that’s not a concern.
Australian UFC light heavyweight Jimmy Crute isn’t concerned with the extra attention that comes with the main card of a pay-per-view, insisting that the bells and whistles are little more than a distraction.
The 25-year-old is set to face Anthony Smith, the sixth-ranked contender in the division.
“I’m not like ‘oh this is a huge opportunity’, it’s a job that needs to be done. I’m not getting super excited and running around about it,” Crute told Wide World of Sports from Florida.
Crute has been outstanding in his past two fights, winning both in the first round and earning ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re undefeated or if you’re coming off the best performances of your life, getting a win in any fight is important. I’m not thinking about the past, all I’m thinking about is Anthony Smith,” he said.
“I’m real ice cold now. I just want to get in there and fight – in past fights I’ve been so caught up in the week and the media obligations, but now I just know that the fight is more important than anything else.
“Maybe I’m just more grumpy than I was back then.”
Crute said he’s ‘feeling awesome’ despite the 30 hours of travel time that brought him to Florida – for what will be a full capacity crowd despite the state’s COVID situation.
“Preparations been the same really, but without lockdown everything else has been a lot better – but we’re just grinding away like we always do,” he said.
Crute didn’t want to give too much of his gameplan away, offering only one public piece of criticism of his opponent, who is one of the most seasoned veterans in the division.
“He doesn’t do well off the back foot, that’s all I’ll say,” Crute said.
The Australian isn’t bothered by the difference on the contender rankings, and although he’s not gazing too far into the future, has a clear goal for the rest of 2021.
“I plan to be the number one contender by the end of the year, but I’ve just got to take it one fight at a time. I’ll be looking to fight the biggest and baddest dudes that I can after this, but first things first, I can’t look past Anthony Smith.”
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