A pair of light heavyweight contenders will meet at UFC 261 as Anthony Smith is set to take on Jimmy Crute, who recently lost his opponent.
Crute was originally set to take on Johnny Walker at UFC 260, but Walker was forced to withdraw from that fight due to a torn pectoral muscle. Instead, Crute is now shifted back a month but he gets to take on a higher-ranked fighter instead when he meets Smith at UFC 261, which takes place on April 24. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to break the news that Smith would be fighting Crute.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 9, 2021
Anthony Smith ( @lionheartasmith ) has agreed to step in for the injured Johnny Walker against Jimmy Crute. Smith vs. Crute will take place on April 24 at a location TBD.
Smith (34-16) is the No. 6 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The former UFC title challenger recently bounced back from a two-fight losing skid against Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic with an impressive submission win over Devin Clark. Overall, Smith is 5-3 as a UFC light heavyweight, with all five of those wins coming by stoppage. Despite having 50 professional fights, Smith is still just only 32 years old. So while he has been around the sport for a long time, there is a chance that he is still improving his game if we are to trust what we saw against Clark. Then again, it’s hard to ignore the two losses to Teixeira and Rakic.
Crute (12-1) is the No. 12 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The young Aussie has gone 4-1 so far in the UFC with notable wins over Sam Alvey and Paul Craig. He was finished by Misha Cirkunov two years ago, but since then Crute has bounced back two with more finishes. He looks like the real deal and if Crute can go in there and defeat Smith it would put him ranked in the top-10 at 205lbs.
Who do you like in this UFC 261 light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Jimmy Crute?