Why getting fat and waiting to fight was Jim Crute's best move

VANCOUVER – UFC light heavyweight Jim Crute said he’s never taken more than one week off from training in the three years he’s been a pro MMA fighter. So when he didn’t immediately get his third UFC booking, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.

“I was like, ‘Ah, this is so boring,'” Crute told MMA Junkie before a pivotal fight against Misha Cirkunov at UFC on ESPN+ 16, which takes place Saturday at Rogers Center. “It was like, put me in.”

To be clear, the Aussie native had asked for time off after his previous bout. Apparently, he didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

After lolling about for a while, Crute eventually discovered it wasn’t such a bad move after all.

“I just feel like I’m a different fighter than I was in February,” said Crute, who turned heads – including UFC President Dana White – by knocking out Sam Alvey in his second octagon outing in February.

For a guy who considered himself “a punching bag that punches back,” taking time off meant he could work on fight strategy. It meant working on technique, and healing from injuries. And it meant some well-deserved rest and relaxation in tropical Bali.

“I got really fat, which was nice,” he said. “I got to eat all the food and drink all the beer. It was hard coming back. But as soon as I hit my stride, I took off.”

Crute said he used his time to take his game to the next level. And when the UFC eventually came calling, he didn’t have to miss out on his other request: a ranked opponent.

Cirkunov, 32, currently resides in the promotion’s top-15, and Crute aims to crack the top-10 this year. He figures a win over the hyped Russian is enough to bring him marquee opponents. He stops short of a bout against the winner of Johnny Walker vs. Corey Anderson, but somewhere in that neighborhood.

At 23, Crute has more than enough time to go around. Maybe even time for a few more vacations.

“Johny Walker’s in his prime,” he said. “I’m still four years off my prime.”

5 days ago

Your Ad could be here please email () us for the details.

email us »


Latest news in MMA

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar rescheduled for UFC on ESPN+ 21 in Moscow
2 hours ago
UFC on ESPN+ 16 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media
2 hours ago
Lyoto Machida: Gegard Mousasi will have 'no excuses' after second loss to me at Bellator 228
3 hours ago
Anthony Pettis 'in a good spot' after Nate Diaz loss, wants Diego Sanchez in 2019
4 hours ago
Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio added to UFC 245
4 hours ago
Undefeated Zviad Lazishvili hopes fighting for LFA catapults him to the UFC
5 hours ago
UFC on ESPN+ 17: Make your predictions for Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens
6 hours ago
UFC 244 press conference with Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz set for Thursday in New York
6 hours ago
Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio targeted for UFC 245 in Las Vegas
7 hours ago
Ben Askren believes ‘idiots’ Usman, Covington made the same error in negotiations
7 hours ago
Ben Askren sends scathing message to Conor McGregor
8 hours ago
Patrick Mix returns against Dominic Mazzotta at Bellator 232 in Connecticut
8 hours ago
Cheick Kongo opens up on controversial Ryan Bader fight
8 hours ago
Robin Van Roosmalen to make promotional debut against Cris Lencioni at Bellator 232
9 hours ago
Tyron Woodley discusses plans at welterweight, middleweight
10 hours ago
Danny Roberts to return against Zelim Imadaev at UFC on ESPN+ 21
10 hours ago
Khabib Nurmagomedov auctions Dustin Poirier’s t-shirt for hefty price
10 hours ago
Dan Hardy wants Nate Diaz for his comeback fight
10 hours ago
Khabib Nurmagomedov nets $100k for Dustin Poirier's UFC 242 fight shirt
11 hours ago
Kevin Lee wants Islam Makhachev at UFC Moscow, but Makhachev says he calls the shots
11 hours ago