‘Your opponent has pulled out.’
Five dreaded words no fighter ever wants to hear.
In the lead up to the second defence of his Hex light-heavyweight title this Friday, Jimmy ‘The Brute’ Crute was told this three times before finally settling on his fourth opponent in as many weeks.
Not one to dwell on things outside of his control, Crute simply took it in his stride.
“Probably back in the day it would have been a bit more frustrating,” Crute said of the opponent changes.
“But I’ve sort of come to expect it. This is the fight game and I know it’s been said before but the real fighters will be there on the night and the pretenders will get on the poster and see ya later.”
There is no doubt that Crute is a ‘real fighter’ in every sense of the word. This fact became evident from the very moment he accepted his first fight.
Making his professional debut in early 2016, Crute’s first fight came against an opponent who already had 18 professional MMA fights to his name.
“The thing is, for about a year, I was begging, not begging but I was trying to get on a pro show and I was asking all the promoters, ‘put me on, put me on, put me on’ and they were a bit hesitant,” Cute said about his professional debut.
“Then one day my coach Sam (Sam Greco) got a call and they said ‘we got a guy, the only problem is, I don’t think you should take it because the guy might be too experienced.’
And they said ‘Ben Kelleher’ and when Sam asked me I said ‘let’s do it, why not?’
Why would I want to go and pad my record, let’s go out there and fight the best guys of the bat, so that’s what we did.”
Not only did Crute defeat the far more experienced opponent, he submitted him in the first round.
Any remaining hesitation from the promoters quickly vanished and Crute has fought exclusively for Hex Fight Series ever since.
Less than two years since making his pro debut, Crute has solidified himself as the top light-heavyweight on the Australasian MMA circuit.
At 22 years of age and the Hex light-heavyweight title to his name, Crute has amassed an undefeated professional record of six wins with four first-round finishes. This Friday night at Hex Fight Series 13 in Melbourne, Crute will defend the title for his second time.
After Crute’s first three opponents pulled out, Korean fighter Doo Hwan Kim (9-4) has decided to step up to the plate. Kim is one of the top ranked light-heavyweights in South East Asia and will be another stern test for Crute as an older and more experienced fighter.
4 weeks 4 different opponents. The only one that had a genuine reason was Mehdi. This is the fight game and when i say i will fight any man on planet earth i mean it. Massive respect to Doo Hwan Kim but this is bussiness and come march 23rd I will handle it. Aus/nz number 1 vs south east asia number 1. #massnutritionbendigo #physioaustralia #punishfightgear #michellereevestransformations #musclemealsdirect #doncamillos #ufc #stewieshouseofbjj #teamgreco #hex
“We’ve had a look at him and I know it’s going to be a good challenge, he’s a great fighter, there is no doubt about it,” Crute said of Kim.
“But I think he’s making a grave mistake of coming in here and thinking that he’s going to run through me.
I think he’s had a look at me and I think he’s gone ‘oh he’s an inexperienced kid’ that’s just been able to get through everyone but he hasn’t faced anyone like himself. I think he’s going to realise early that there more to me than just being ‘The Brute.’
I’m going to go after him. He thinks he’s got my number but going to decision in my last fight didn’t really sit well with me. I just want to go out there and show that I can get a clean win over one of the best guys in the world.”
The fight will serve as the co-main event for Hex Fight Series 13 at the Melbourne Pavilion.
Kitt Campbell will defend his welterweight title against Matt Vaile in the main event.
The card will be aired delayed on Fox Sports Australia.
Epicentre.tv will be broadcasting the live stream which will only be available to viewers outside of Australia – www.epicentre.tv