Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute – UFC 261 Preview

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Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute at UFC 261 will see a young-up-and comer, with a cannon for a right hand, against a tough and gritty, Lionhearted, MMA veteran. The 25-year-old Australian Crute (12-1) is on a two-fight win streak in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and will be looking to break into the top-10 with a win at UFC 261. American-born Smith (34-16) is looking to hold his spot in the top-10 this weekend and prove he is still a top contender.

UFC 261 will be broadcast live on pay-per-view from Jacksonville, Florida, this Saturday, April 24.

Originally Jimmy Crute, ranked 13, was set to face Johnny Walker (17-5), ranked 10, at UFC 260. Walker dropped out of the fight due to requiring surgery for his torn pectoral muscle. Potentially this was a stroke of luck as Crute will now face a higher-ranked and more proven opponent, at UFC 261, in Smith, ranked 6.

Anthony Smith (34-16)

Smith has been around the block in the UFC and MMA. Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute will be Smith’s 16th UFC bout and his 51st MMA fight overall. He holds victories over all-time greats such as Mauricia ‘Shogun‘ Rua (27-12) and Rashad Evans (19-8), the hall of Famer. He also went the distance in a five-round loss to the legend Jon ‘Bones‘ Jones (26-1), who has defended the light heavyweight championship 11 times.

Smith has a resume facing top contenders and champions in his UFC career. All this, and he’s only 32 years old.

The best word to describe ‘Lionheart’ Anthony Smith would be toughness. The man absorbs strikes and gives them right back. Smith has been knocked down in five of his UFC fights, and in all five of those, he won. In the UFC, he has one KO loss via head-kick, to the Brazilian sledgehammer, ‘Marreta’ Thiago Santos (21-9). Also, in their 2020 bout, Glover Teixeira (32-7) scored a fifth-round TKO over Smith, but it required Teixeira to land 138 significant strikes to put him away.

While favoring a head strike-focused style, Anthony Smith has shown an ability to mix up his arsenal. In his most recent bout, Smith won via submission, a triangle choke, over Devin Clark (12-5). It marked Smith’s 13th career submission win.

He will also vary his striking to include leg kicks and body strikes. For example, in his 2019 victory over Alexander Gustafsson (18-7), Smith used a balanced striking approach landing 39 percent of his strikes to the head, 22 percent to the body, and 39 percent to the legs.

And this does show growth in his career when compared to his fight against Hector Lombard (34-10-1) in 2017 in which Smith threw 88% of his strike to head.

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute will see Smith try to hold his spot in the top 10 and prove why he deserves to be a contender at light heavyweight. Smith will be looking to make Crute his 19th career KO/TKO victim at UFC 261.

Jimmy Crute (12-1)

The young Australian has won an impressive four out of five bouts in the UFC. Crute’s lone MMA loss was a submission loss to the ADCC North American Champion Misha Cirkunov (15-6).

Jimmy Crute varies his style. His highlights include knockout victories with a heavy right hand.

In his most recent fight, Crute knocked out Modestas Bukauskas (11-4) just two minutes into their fight. Crute has an average fight time in the UFC of just 5:22. He also has won 42 percent of his fights by way of knockout. But we have also seen him shoot for takedowns in his UFC fights. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has attempted a very high average rate of submission attempts in his fights. Among active light heavyweights, Crute holds the record for most submission attempts per 15 minutes, in addition to the control time record he also holds.

With a win at UFC 261 this weekend, Jimmy “The Brute” Crute would be able to move into the UFC’s top at light heavyweight. Anthony Smith is a tough test for the young up and comer. In Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute, Crute at just age 25, should be training for this fight like it’s a title fight. This is the biggest fight of his life.

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute at UFC 261

After Smith’s 50 MMA fights, Crute should be able to have a fairly good idea on what to game-plan against the ever-tough Smith. Crute’s training team has ample tape to study to find weaknesses.

Smith will likely be looking to control the center of the Octagon and land strikes from distance. Crute loves the throw his big right hand over the top of his opponents’ jab, which he has gained many KO/TKO’s from. Crute has also shown good ability on the ground, as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt. In Crute’s submission victory over the Scottish Paul Craig (14-4-1), Craig earned three takedowns. However, on each one, Crute had reversed the position or was able to get up.

Crute may be wise to follow the game plan set by Teixeira against Anthony Smith. This is to push Smith’s back against the cage, land takedowns, hold control, and land ground and pound.

Given his history, he may be able to do this; Crute landed eight successful takedowns against Michal Oleksiejczuk (15-4), particularly against the cage, in their 2020 meeting. Crute also has a UFC career average success rate of 75 percent on his takedowns, while Smith has a takedown defense rate of 51 percent but is able to land submissions off of his back, as he did against Clark most recently.

If the Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute bout were to remain standing, we would see both fighters looking to control the center of the octagon and land a varied set of distance strikes. Both using an orthodox stance, the fighters would be landing leg kicks, and jabs into power rights hands.

Crute would be particularly seeking a counter-right hand coming over the jab of Smith, aiming for a knockout. Smith likely would be looking to overwhelm his younger opponent with a series of powerful strikes. Smith does have much more experience against historically strong opponents, so it would be wise of Smith to try to use his experience and toughness to out-point Crute.

Their UFC meeting, Smith vs Crute, will have huge effects on the career of each man. A loss for Smith may push him out of the top-10, while a victory for Crute will seal him as the next light heavyweight to watch.

Smith may be able to win and keep his top ranking spot, and Crute potentially can rebound and learn much from a loss against a veteran such as Lionheart. There is no telling where their fight will go, this could be contested on the feet, trading power strikes, or on the ground, trading submission attempts back and forth. The bout is set to kick off the main card of UFC 261 and we are expecting an exciting match-up.

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute Tale of the Tape

Anthony Smith Name Jimmy Crute
    34-16 Record  12-1
   9-6 UFC Record  4-1
18 (52%) (T)KO 5 (41%)
13 (38%) Sub. 4 (33%)
 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
76″ Reach 72.5″
205 Weight 205
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
USA Born Australia
32 Age 25
6 Rank 13
46% Sig. Strike Accuracy 57%
42% Strike Defence 54%
2.94 Strikes Landed per Min. 4.36
28% Takedown Accuracy 75%
51% Takedown Defence 60%

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Anthony Smith  vs. Jimmy Crute

UFC 261 will be broadcast live on pay-per-view from Jacksonville, Florida, USA this Saturday April 24 – 5:45 pm ET / 2:45 pm PT / 10:45 pm GMT / 7:45 am AEDT.


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Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. He has been an avid follower of these sports since 2005. Tim is a host alongside Frazer Krohn on the MMA Sucka Podcast.

With MMA Sucka, Tim has contributed interviews, articles, and podcasts. He has also represented MMA Sucka in person at live Bellator and GLORY Kickboxing events.

Tim also works with a host of other media sites such as Calf Kick Sports, Sportskeeda MMA, Low Kick MMA, Vecht Sport Info, Fighters First, and Beyond Kickboxing. Tim is is the authority on kickboxing and MMA journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.

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