The red-hot Jimmy Crute — the No. 13-ranked contender in the loaded 205-pound division — was out to crack the Top 10 at the expense of former Light Heavyweight title challenger and No. 6-seeded contender, Anthony Smith, in the opening match of UFC 261’s pay-per-view (PPV) show tonight (Sat., April 24, 2021) inside a fan-filled VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Crute, winner of two straight, had the momentum in his favor, with Smith somewhat reeling since his unanimous decision loss to then-champion, Jon Jones, back in 2019. And it just wasn’t in the cards tonight, with Smith landing two monster low kicks at the end of the first round from which Crute could not recover.
Smith circled early, looking to feel-out the power-punching Aussie. Crute eventually cornered him along the cage and unleashed a kick to the body, with Smith peeling out under the cover of a nice jab. Smith landed another more solid jab moments later, with Crute responding with a flurry of low kicks. Another jab from Smith appeared to buzz Crute, who kept plugging away at his lower half. Smith landed another jab then tried to a kick, which Crute caught and blasted him with a straight right hand. Smith jabs ... Crute low kicks was the story early.
And then the script flipped ...
Low kick from Smith, which Crute countered with a hard shot. Smith went back to the low kick and Crute hit the canvas — something was really wrong with his foot. Crute could not support himself on his leg. He somehow was able to wrestle until the bell, but as he walked back to his corner between rounds Crute’s leg was simply not working. The Smith leg kick did severe damage, similar to Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor.
Peroneal nerve technical knockout win for Smith, who puts together two straight wins for the first time since 2018.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 261: “Usman vs. Masvidal 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.