Jimmy Crute ‘Willing To Go To The Death’ At UFC 261
The last thing Jimmy Crute wanted was for his bout with Anthony Smith at UFC 261 to be stopped.
Crute, though, was deemed unfit to continue and Smith awarded the victory.
On Submission Radio recently, Crute explained the injury and what happened inside the Octagon.
“I felt a lot better after watching it back. I was definitely wining that first round. I don’t feel like they should have stopped the fight for what they did, but it is what is. Like, what can I do about it? But I do feel better after watching it back. It was close, and as soon as the injury happened, I started dominating. So, it makes me feel a bit better about the whole situation. I know they shouldn’t have stopped it, and if they didn’t stop it I would have gone out and dominated in the second round.”
“He was winning the first part of the round. It was close. I was landing my leg kicks, he was jabbing me, and then I was countering off of some of his jabs. I feel like I was just starting to find my groove where I was landing left hooks off of his jab and right hands, and I started to put the pressure on. And then he hit me with this leg kick that hit me in the perineal nerve and just took out my whole bottom leg. Like, I couldn’t feel. Literally, it just felt like my leg had been dipped in fire, and then it went numb and I couldn’t feel anything in my leg. And then I kept rolling my ankle. But as soon as that happened, I just thought, oh well, I guess we’ll just have to grapple now. I knew the feeling in my leg would come back. With that nerve damage, it only lasts for about a minute or two. So, I knew that if I just grounded him, hopefully by the end of the round I could get some feeling back in my leg and we could go for the second. It took a little bit longer to get the feeling back. I think I literally started walking again normally like 20 seconds after they called the fight. So, it was really frustrating. But yeah, the game plan was to put him in the clinch in the second round anyway. Feel him out the first round, start putting on pressure by the end of it, second round clinch up with him and start really making it a bit of a dirty fight. But I didn’t get the chance. They didn’t give me the chance or opportunity to prove that I could do that. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but what can you do?”
On Smith landing the kick
“I’m not going to sit here and talk shit about anyone. I have so much respect for Anthony. He placed the kick, he did it well, but I guarantee you he didn’t mean for that to happen when he threw the kick. It wasn’t like a planned thing for him, it was just a freaky thing. He meant to kick me in the leg, no doubt about it. But that doesn’t happen on purpose. That was a freak accident sort of thing. So, in terms of having done it or felt it before, I’ve been kicked in the leg by some of the hardest leg kickers in the world. I’m known for taking those kicks and delivering. He landed the leg kick on me 10 seconds before, and I made him pay with a right hand off it. So, that’s sort of my thing. I make people pay for trying to kick me in the leg. But it was just, it just hit me in the sweet spot and in the nerve behind the knee.”
“I couldn’t feel my leg, and mate, like, I just couldn’t feel my leg. But I knew the feeling would come back. We’ve seen it before. I don’t need two legs to grapple, but yeah, it’s just frustrating to think about.”
On taking Smith down at the end of the first round and not thinking the fight would be stopped because of his leg
“No, I had no idea they weren’t going to let me go. Even when I stood up and I was limping, there’s been times before where people have hurt their leg and limped around and come good, and they’ve given them the benefit of the doubt. I think they should have. I think they should have let me go out. I definitely wanted to. I feel like if I would have gone out in the second, I would have put him away. But in terms of what I felt straight away when I got him to the ground, yeah, there was a bit of urgency to finish him. But there’s urgency to finish him anyway. I wanted to get him out of there because I couldn’t feel my leg obviously. And then when I got on top of him, I was just surprised how easy he was to control and how easy he was to hit. I think I landed 25 ground and pound strikes in a row, and I definitely had a massive advantage on the ground. So yeah, there was urgency to finish just because I didn’t want to go into the second with a cooked leg. But I was very prepared to do that if I needed to.”
On possibly hurting his knee
“I think I did a bit of damage to my LCL. I think that’s what they said it looked like when I fell. But it’s just gutting because I didn’t get the opportunity to go out on my own terms.”
“The perineal nerve just gets better by itself, but I feel like I’ve done ligament damage. I’ve blown an ACL, so I sort of know what the ligament damage feels like. But yeah, I’ve got to get a scan. I can’t get a scan until I get out of hotel quarantine, so yeah, it’s frustrating. I’m stuck in here, I don’t know what’s wrong with my knee, I don’t know how long I have to have off. But yeah, we’ll have to wait and see.”
The positive reception to the fight
“I was expecting a lot of shit talk when I got backstage, and then I just got bombarded with people saying nothing but respect, even though you didn’t get the W, your stock’s risen. I think the fact that we’ve seen people fold from similar sort of things like that and just go down and not try and fight. I was willing to go to the death in there. I swear to god, I was willing. If my leg could’ve fallen off, I still would’ve gone in there to fight. And not just go in there to fight, but I was going into the second round to win.”
On wanting an eventually rematch with Smith and being happy to train with him
“We were very respectful of each other before the fight. Which is nice. I’d prefer to fight someone that I actually respect and like. It just makes the whole experience, a hell of a lot better. And yeah, after the fight we shared a beer and we were talking about training. I want to get a rematch before we train together, but I’d happily train with the bloke and I’ll keep in contact with him. I said before the fight, I said, win, lose or draw, I’m going to learn a hell of a lot off Anthony Smith, and I feel like I did. I learned a hell of a lot just sharing the octagon with him. We talked strategies and stuff after the fight, and I learned a lot just by talking to him. Anyone that’s been around the game for that long, when they talk, you just open your ears and listen. It was really cool to share that with Anthony. And the fact that he’s a very, very nice guy, and I think we’re very similar in the fact that we just are who we are and we don’t pretend to be anything else. It was cool.”
“Yeah, I said we’ll run it back, and he said for sure. But it’s one thing to say that, but if I was him, I’m not gonna say he’s gonna be scared, but he’s gonna know that that fight ended in a way that benefited him. That it could have gone a lot differently for him. It really could have gone a lot differently to him. If we make that second round, the tides turn massively. But yeah, if I get the rematch, it’s fine. I’m not gonna get a rematch straight away. Maybe I rematch Misha Cirkunov first. Maybe we go on a rematch tour.”