UFC 261: Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute- Main Card Prediction and Analysis

Published 04/23/2021, 7:23 AM EDT


UFC light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Jimmy Crute will go to war on the main card for UFC 261. The match-up is a classic veteran vs up and comer style fight that has been circled by fans for its potential. Both men have the ability to deliver fireworks and are durable enough to take what they dish out as well.

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The light heavyweight division is spearheaded by Jan Blachowicz, who has managed to capture the attention of fight fans. His stock is at an all-time high after his victory over Israel Adesanya, and he’s already got his next fight booked. The contenders are looking to enter the contention territory with a flurry of wins, much as Glover Teixeira did.

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UFC 261: Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute

Lionheart’ Smith has had a hard time finding his footing ever since he was defeated by Jon Jones in his title opportunity. Anthony Smith is 1-2 in his last three outings and is coming off a submission win over Devin Clark. Despite some lackluster performances, especially in his defeat to Teixeira, Smith remains an elite-level talent.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 28: (L-R) Anthony Smith attempts to submit Devin Clark in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night at UFC APEX on November 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Anthony Smith is adept at making adjustments during the fight, as would be expected from a 50-fight veteran. While Smith usually likes to drag larger-sized opponents to the canvas, that may prove costly against Crute who has submitted one of the best grapplers in the division in Paul Craig.

Jimmy ‘The Brute’: Up and comer

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Crute is arguably the marquee prospect to look out for when looking at the aforementioned fight card as a whole. He’s got a well-rounded game and can turn on the pressure at a dime, unlike other 205-pound fighters. The 25-year-old 4-1 in his UFC run and is coming off a first-round KO over Modestas Bukauskas in his last fight.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 18: (R-L) Jimmy Crute of Australia punches Modestas Bukauskas of Lithuania in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on October 18, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Brute’ has finished all of his opponents in the UFC with a mixture of force and slick technique. He’ll have to be wary of Smith’s clinch knees and elbows as they have proven to be devastating weapons. Jimmy Crute also has a trump card of being extremely competent on the ground at all points in the fight, but we see ‘Lionheart’s experience coming through at UFC 261.

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Prediction: Anthony Smith to claim a second-round TKO win.

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Darryl Pinto

1877 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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