Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight sluggers Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield will square off this weekend (Saturday, February 11, 2023) at UFC 284 inside the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. .
Crute may come into this fight after a pair of losses, but the 26-year-old Australian remains one of the top prospects in the division. It’s a weird situation: one loss came to the current champion, while another came in one of those funky moments when his knee got cut with a single low kick. Conversely, Menifield goes into this fight on a pretty good run. He has won four of his last five fights, finishing three of those fights before the bell. None of the names on his record are spectacular, but ‘Atomic’ has a chance to change that in this game.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Main wins: Michal Oleksiejczuk (UFC Fight Night 168), Paul Craig (UFC Fight Night 142), Sam Alvey (UFC 234), Modestas Bukauskas (UFC Fight Island 6)
Key losses: Jamahal Hill (UFC Vegas 44), Jamahal Hill (Anthony Smith (UFC Vegas 9), Misha Cirkunov (UFC Fight Night 158)
Keys to Victory: Crute is very complete for such a young fighter. He’s a skilled striker with power in his hands, but Crute truly excels on the canvas. He’s a strong wrestler with excellent submission skills, making him a real handful in such a striker-heavy division.
Menifield is a powerhouse. He is not an opponent who should be approached directly when it comes to hitting or grappling. If Crute thinks he’ll trade with Menifield safely or easily blast him with a double leg, he’s likely to have a rude awakening.
Fortunately, there are ways around pure force. Namely, Crute could work his distance on hitting, avoid the pocket, and then try to time a takedown perfectly under a Menifield swing. Alternatively, he could look to really grind Menifield, wear him down, then implement his ground game.
The latter seems safer to me, as Crute remains a young fighter with a defense still in development. If Devin Clark was able to tire himself out and fight Menifield through consistency, Crute should be able to do the same.
Main wins: Paul Craig (UFC on ESPN 3), Misha Cirkunov (UFC Vegas 62), Ed Herman (UFC 265), Vinicius Moreira (UFC Fight Night 143)
Key losses: William Knight (UFC Vegas 44), Ovince Saint Preux (UFC Vegas 9), Devin Clark (UFC 250)
Keys to Victory: Menifield doesn’t do anything too complicated inside the cage. He has great power in his right hand and a very useful wrestling game, which is enough to climb the light heavyweight ladder quite high.
He stopped 10 enemies by knockout.
Menifield wants a shootout here. Overall, he’s proven to be quite durable, and he’s definitely the biggest punch threat. Therefore, he wants to encourage one-on-one exchanges, as he is more likely to impose himself.
It makes sense that Menifield would press Crute on his back foot. “The Brute” likes to knock his opponents down, so reversing that dynamic on him should be beneficial. It’s harder to shoot under pressure, and Menifield will have more room to dodge the fence if he’s the man going forward.
This is an important fight for every man and for the Light Heavyweight division.
Crute enters this fight ranked No. 12, and he remains one of the top prospects in the division. The latter will always hold true with a loss here, but it will likely drop out of the standings following a third straight loss. Truly, this fight will determine whether or not Crute can preempt the rankings in 2023, or if a regrouping period is needed for his career.
For Menifield, this is a major opportunity on a high-level event (or at least, a card that’s supposed to be high-level). The knockout artist is 35 years old and he has the chance to extend his winning streak to three with the best victory of his career. Victory here introduces him to the light heavyweight rankings, and that should set him up for another big fight next.
At UFC 284, Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield will open the main card. What man stays up when the dust settles?
remember that MMAmania.com will provide live, round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 284 fight card right herestarting from the beginning ESPN+ Online “Prelims” matches, which are due to start at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN /ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m. ET, prior to the PPV main card start time at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ VPP.
For the latest and greatest news and notes from UFC 284: ‘Islam vs. Volkanovski’, be sure to check out our full event archive to the right here.
#UFC #Clash #Crute #Menifield