It's been nearly eight months since Bendigo's Jimmy Crute last stepped into the UFC Octagon.
The 25-year-old's last bout was a loss via doctor's stoppage to Anthony Smith, but heading into this weekend's fight with American Jamahal Hill, what happened back in April is the last thing on his mind.
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"I am eager to get back into the ring full stop," Crute said to the Bendigo Advertiser from Las Vegas.
"The last fight has nothing to do with this one and If I was still hung up, it would mean I'm not focused on Hill."
Crute heads into the fight in Las Vegas with a 12-2 record and ranked 13th on the UFC light heavyweight rankings.
Hill (8-1) is ranked 14th on the standings and is on the back of a loss to Paul Craig in June when he was defeated for the first time in his professional career.
The pair were originally scheduled to meet in October, but the fight was pushed back to December 4.
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Now that Crute is in the United States with only days left before the bout, he couldn't feel any better in his ability mentally and physically.
"I am feeling right at home," Crute said.
"Last time I was in Vegas for a fight I had a fantastic trip and it has really brought back some great nostalgia and vibes."
The fight against Hill marks the first in his recently signed new four-fight UFC contract.
After the original fight date was postponed in October, Crute didn't let up his preparations in any way shape or form.
"I haven't taken any time off at all after the last fight was postponed," he said.
"It's certainly been a long preparation and I am looking forward to showing the world all of the work that's gone into this - it's been a big build up."
Crute's preparation has included sparring with several other Australian fighters at Resilience Training Centre in Melbourne - in addition to non-stop work with his coach Sam Greco.
He's also undertaken plenty of background work on Hill.
"I've studied him and the more I watch him, the more I respect his ability," Crute said.
"Watching some of his previous fights has really opened my eyes to what he is capable of doing.
"But I know for sure that I've got what it takes to beat him.
"I am going to shut him down and shut him out."
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