“I didn’t receive anything,” Crute said. “I took it, so I’m going to take this opportunity, and I’m going to shove it down his throat to think he can get away with giving it to me.”
The Australian understands the challenge before him as fully as the opportunity. Smith’s vast experience might lead enough to assume he’s much older than his 32 years old, and just five fights ago he challenged Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt.
In that fight, Jones landed an illegal knee on Smith, but instead of letting the fight end there and inheriting the title, Smith went on and ultimately lost a decision. This choice to continue has earned the Nebraskan much consideration among his peers, including Crute.
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“I love what he’s done in the sport,” said Crute. “He’s proven time and time again that the nickname ‘Lionheart’ holds, and it suited him. I have nothing but respect for the man.
That respect showed up in the training hall, and Crute seems to want to fight at night.
However, he is keen not to be exaggerated. Crute is well aware of the various dangers that Smith presents, as suggested by the 18 KOs and 13 submissions in his case.