Australian light heavyweight Jimmy Crute scored the biggest win of his UFC career with a vicious first round knockout over Lithuanian Modestas Bukauskas on Fight Island, and then jumped the cage to shake hands with the promotion’s president Dana White.
It was the perfect pay-off for the 24-year-old from the NSW town of Singleton, who had been living out of a van outside his gym in Melbourne in preparation for the fight.
The Aussie impressed White with a rush of of three knockout punches within seconds to leave the European stunned on the mat as the referee jumped in to stop the bout. He was in the cage for just over a couple of minutes.
Crute sat with Bukauskas in a sign of sportsmanship after the win, before leaping out of the Octagon and walking up to the seated UFC boss to shake his hand. White could be heard telling him, “That was a good one, kid!” before he returned to the cage.
Former UFC champ Daniel Cormier was commentating for the bout and complimented the “gifted and talented” Aussie after the fight.
In the post-fight interview, Crute said he couldn’t have done it without his coach Sam Greco.
“Look at my coaches, as if I’m not gonna win,” Crute said.
“I wanted to emulate the Sammy G leg-kicks and that’s what I did. He was hard to take down, and the old me, I would’ve lost a bit of control because the first takedown didn’t go according to plan.
“The game plan was to just chop his leg up and not let him set.”
Crute then called out his ideal next opponent in the light heavyweight division.
“I know there’s a man who was supposed to fight on this card, I know he won’t turn me down … Nikita Krylov, what do you want?,” he said.
Crute also drew praise from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto: “Jimmy Crute with the sledgehammer!!!! Wow!!! Crute is legit! Really like this guy. He told me before this fight he struggled with confidence earlier in his career, never thought of himself as an athlete. He looked like an athlete tonight. WOW.”
The Aussie has come a long way in his short career after battling to overcome negative thoughts early on.
The light-heavyweight told The Daily Telegraph he would always go into fights believing he was the inferior fighter which would lead to over-training.
Crute, improved his UFC record to 4-1.
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