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Key Stats: 1.68 knockdowns per 15 minutes (5th all-time among LHW), 47.8% control time percentage (4th all-time among LHW), 5:22 average fight time (4th shortest)

What It Means: One of the roster’s brightest prospects, particularly in the light heavyweight division, Crute is an aggressive fighter with an innate finishing ability. He is a powerful striker who is relatively patient when it comes to looking for his big shot, but once he stuns a foe, he shows great aggression to end the fight. His submission skills are good, and he attacks them with great physicality. In close quarters, he shows natural power off the break, as well as a keen sense of how to leverage positions to his advantage.

What to Look For in the Fight: This is a good test for Crute, who is buzzing right around the top half of the division’s rankings, but Smith is no stepping stone. Smith is the longer fighter and does well to utilize that length via straight punches, teep kicks and a good sense of distance, but Crute is also adept at finding his range or bull rushing into clinches. Once the fight gets in close, Crute could have some success grinding Smith against the fence, but he’ll need to be wary of Smith’s ability to snatch submissions. Both fighters are smart finishers who don’t necessarily chase the fight-ending sequence but have good instincts for when the opportunity rises.

 

*Hasn’t competed in current weight class enough to qualify in UFC Record Book


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