UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith is in talks to have his first fight of the year. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that Smith has agreed to fight Jimmy Crute at UFC’s April 24th event. Crute was scheduled to fight Johnny Walker at UFC 260 on March 27th, but Walker is out due to a torn pectoral muscle.
Smith will look to gain momentum so that he can once again fight for the UFC light heavyweight championship. He fought for the title in a losing effort to former champion Jon Jones at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. His last win was a submission victory over Devin Clark on November 18, 2020, at UFC on ESPN 18 at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Smith is ranked sixth in the light heavyweight division. A win over Crute can put Smith back in the picture to fight someone in the division’s top five.
Crute will try to have the biggest win of his career with a win over Smith. He is on a two-fight win streak and is ranked 12th in the division. His last win was against Modestas Bukauskas by knockout at UFC Fight Night 180 on October 18, 2020, at the du Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. If Crute had defeated Walker, who is ranked ninth, he would have taken that spot. A win over Smith can make Crute sixth in the division and put him in consideration as a possible championship contender.