Light heavyweight bruiser Johnny Walker suffered a pectoral tear and has been forced to withdraw from his Jim Crute fight, booked for the upcoming UFC 260 pay-per-view (PPV) event on March 27 at APEX in Las Vegas, according to a report from ESPN.
Stepping in for the injured Brazilian is former 205-pound title contender Anthony Smith, though matchmakers will give “Lionheart” a little more time to prepare. His freshly-minted Crute bout will take place at the UFC 261 PPV on April 24.
“A wise man called Dan Kelly once told me ‘in a sport that’s supposed to be full of tough guys you’d be surprised at how many pussies there are in this sport.’ Very true words,” Crute wrote on social media.
“Disappointed that my opponent has ducked me yet again but I can’t say that I am surprised,” Crute continued. “That being said, I can’t express how excited and grateful I am that a true fighter has decided to step in and fight me. This is a better fight, better name and bigger challenge but I’m ready for it.”
Smith (34-16) is coming off a submission win over Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN 18 last November. As for Crute (12-1), he’s riding back-to-back victories over Michal Oleksiejczuk (UFC Auckland) and Modestas Bukauskas (UFC Fight Island 6).
Expect more April 24 fight card announcements in the coming weeks.