For 24-year old light heavyweight sensation Jimmy “The Brute” Crute to get the call to fight in the UFC was a godsend. The Melbourne, Australia native is sporting a 12-1 MMA record, winning four of five fights inside the Octagon. In those five fights, Crute has finished three of his four wins in the first round, winning by submission and two knockouts, with another submission victory in the third round. For someone who has never considered himself as an athletic type, he has built his confidence in his skill set. Starting karate at age four and judo at age eight, he’s no stranger to throwing down. Holding a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also makes him a dangerous grappler.
Before winning his two fights this year against Michal Oleksiejczuk and Modestas Bukauskas, confidence became an issue where self-doubt would follow him into his fights, which led to a loss to Misha Cirkunov. That was the wake-up call Crute needed to believe in his abilities in order to bounce back in his later bouts.
What makes this five-year fighter even more special is that he doesn’t plan on throwing down money for a house anytime soon. Crute currently calls his 2019 Mercedes Sprinter home. He set up the van with a bed, refrigerator, a television set, along with a coffee machine. Living in the van with his 3-year old bulldog, Buddha, he may be the closest thing to late comedian/actor Chris Farley’s character, Matt Foley as you can imagine. Whether the van he houses himself in is by a river is anyone’s guess. Otherwise, this could very well be the best financial tactic Crute has in remaining frugal as he doesn’t like to pay bills or rent.
According to an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, he claims that the sacrifice of living in a van has been a blessing more so than a curse as he embraces it with open arms.
“I’ve always thought you need to be a little uncomfortable to grow, and I think the main benefit is it makes me focus 100 percent of my time on getting better,” Crute said. “And not because I train more, your body can only train so much, but I get to focus on my recovery more. I don’t have a long drive home. I get my meals straight away because they’re right there. I just relax in my van. I don’t have to worry about anything other than recovery and making sure my next session is as good as my last one.”
The Worldwide Leader In Sports also named him the #1 MMA Fighter Under the Age of 25. Having finished his fights, win or lose, not one has gone the distance where the judges would decide his fate. That also played a factor in making him the one fighter to watch in an always star-studded light-heavyweight division.