UFC 290 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jimmy Crute vs. Alonzo Menifield: Take This Side of a Pick’em Rematch (Saturday, July 8)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC light heavyweights Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield
Jimmy Crute vs. Alonzo Menifield Odds
|Jimmy Crute Odds||-122|
|Alonzo Menifield Odds||-104|
|Total (Over/Under)||1.5 (-122 / -122)|
|Venue||T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Channel||ABC and ESPN|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings|
After Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield put on an incredibly fun fight back at UFC 284 that ended in a draw, UFC matchmakers have decided to run it back this weekend at UFC 290 with the rematch.
Crute narrowly avoided being knocked out in each of the first two rounds against Menifield. He then took over with his grappling in the third round to force the draw – with the help of a point deduction from Menifield.
As we'd expect, oddsmakers have this one as roughly a pick'em heading into the rematch – but should it be?
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||5:47||6:53|
|Weight (pounds)||205 lbs.||205 lbs.|
|Date of birth||3/4/1996||10/18/1987|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.67||3.88|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.04||3.04|
|Take Down Avg||5.19||0.67|
The initial pairing between these two was a fairly solid representation of both men's skill sets.
Menifield is a former professional football player (Arena League), and he is one of the best pure athletes in the division.
Crute is a lifelong martial artist who's ranked in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, with a black belt in the latter.
Menifield might be the most physically impressive fighter in the UFC, with a physique that wouldn't be out of place at a professional bodybuilding event. All of that muscle has its pros and cons, and Menifield exhibits both.
Obviously, the biggest edge to Menifield's size and strength is the power it provides. Menifield hurt Crute numerous times in their first meeting, frequently with off-balance or glancing shots. Four of his six UFC wins came via knockout, as well as six of his seven pre-UFC victories.
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) October 15, 2022
That strength also makes Menifield incredibly difficult to keep on the mat. Crute landed six takedowns against Menifield, but the first five of those amounted to less than four minutes of control time. Menifield's takedown defense leaves something to be desired – as does his technique when escaping – but the sheer force with which he explodes up covers a lot of those holes.
The other drawback to Menifield's size and strength is the massive energy demands all that muscle places on him. This was evident in the third round against Crute when Menifield was stuck on his back for almost four minutes from a single takedown while rarely mounting much in the way of escape attempts.
In his career, he's 1-3-1 in fights that last at least six minutes.
Crute is almost the polar opposite, with a long, lean frame and excellent technique in all aspects of grappling. He was able to time the heavy shots from Menifield perfectly, stepping under to secure takedowns almost at will throughout their fight.
He's no slouch in the striking game either, with a positive striking differential in the UFC and three knockouts of his own (counting his fight on the Contender Series.)
CLOCKED CLEANED ⏱
🇦🇺 @CruteJim with a STATEMENT on Fight Island.
— UFC (@ufc) October 18, 2020
He's best known for his submission game, though, in particular a nasty kimura that he used to submit fellow grappling ace Paul Craig.
Crute's cardio is another strength, as he demonstrated in the Menifield fight. His submission over Craig was also in the final frame of their bout.
My biggest issue with Crute is his fight IQ. He frequently makes the all-too-common jiu-jitsu fighter mistake of going for submissions over damage and positional control. That cost him at times against Menifield. Crute gave up top position to look for a guillotine, which allowed Menifield to return to his feet and led to the sequence in which he nearly knocked out Crute.
Crute also was a bit too insistent on going for his signature kimura against Menifield. Given the massive strength edge of the latter, it's a fairly low-percentage submission for Crute.
Crute vs. Menifield Pick
In theory, when we have a draw due to a point deduction, we'd conclude that the fighter who committed the foul (and thus would've won otherwise) is the superior fighter. Especially when that fighter goes off as an underdog for the rematch.
I'm not so sure that's the case here, though. Menfiield opened as a slight favorite before bets trickled in on Crute. I think the market is on the right side of this one – for a couple of reasons.
One, Crute is just 27 years old while Menifield is 35. While that isn't incredibly old by light-heavyweight standards, it's still probable that Crute is continuing to get better while Menifield's best octagon performance has already taken place.
Equally relevant is examining what went wrong for each fighter that led to the draw. For Menifield, it was a lack of takedown defense and cardio. The former is hard to fix in a short time frame while the latter may be nearly impossible for a fighter of his build.
Crute's biggest issue was arguably his gameplan, which saw him hunt for submissions and sacrifice position on the ground, rather than focus on wearing down his powerful opponent. That's a lot easier to fix in the time since their last meeting.
As a final point, their last fight was the first for Crute in over a year following knee surgery. There could've been a bit of ring rust involved in the early goings that should have subsided, as well as the possibility he's regained even more athleticism.
For all those reasons, I'm on Jimmy Crute this weekend. I'm happy with the -122 moneyline at FanDuel, but I'll be splitting my exposure here with a same game parlay of Crute & Over 4.5 minutes at +150 on DraftKings.
Menifield is most dangerous in the early goings, so Crute's best plan might be to wait out the opening barrage.
The Pick: Jimmy Crute (-122) | Crute & Over 4.5 minutes SGP (+150 at DraftKings)