With a high profile fight against Johnny Walker falling through earlier this year, light heavyweight prospect Jimmy Crute found himself in arguably a bigger match-up. At UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, Crute was booked opposite Anthony Smith. The former title challenger, looking for back-to-back wins after beating Devin Clark late last year.
Crute had asked for the bout, with Smith the highest-profile light heavyweight willing to face him. Had he bit off more than he could chew?
Turns out, he had, though the fight did not end how anyone would have guessed.
Smith came out with a lot of movement and circled Crute. He opened with a kick to the body and Crute fired back low. Crute landed a second leg kick and Smith answered with a stiff jab. Smith landed a solid right hand and another stiff jab that landed right on target. Early on, it was clear Smith’s jab was going to be a problem for Crute. The Australian, meanwhile, kept up with the leg kicks, and Smith doubled up on the jab. Smith kept finding that jab, but in turn, Crute kept finding that leg kick.
It wasn’t Crute’s leg kick that would be the difference maker, however. Instead, later in the round, Smith landed a leg kick that dropped Crute. Almost immediately, his leg did its best impression of a wet noodle. Crute shot for the take down and got Smith to the mat, which is the only thing that kept him in the fight. Smith got to his feet for a moment but Crute dragged him to the mat again. Rinse and repeat, as that happened once more. The round came to an end on the mat, but Crute’s leg looked compromised. Getting back to his corner was a trial, and the leg seemed to buckle more than once.
Crute looked to have recovered somewhat as he came out for the second round, but his leg was still compromised. After the in-cage version of a field sobriety test, during which Crute stumbled, the fight was called by cageside doctor. An upset Crute landed a punch on one of the octagon’s punches, but he was in all honesty a sitting duck.
— UFC (@ufc) April 25, 2021
Official Result: Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute by TKO ( doctor’s stoppage – leg injury), Round 1, 5:00