After Johnny Walker was forced out of his UFC 260 fight with Jimmy Crute on March 27thh due to an injury, Anthony Smith has now stepped in as his replacement, pushing the bout back to UFC 261 on April 24th.
Crute had been critical of Walker for pulling out due to a torn pectoral muscle that requires surgery and had claimed that an even better fighter was set to replace him, and certainly Smith is the better known of the two, having previously fought for the light-heavyweight title.
Smith’s 2020 campaign didn’t get off to a good start though, losing two fights in a row against Glover Teixeira and Aleksander Rakic, but he has since steadied the ship with a first round submission win against Devin Clark in November.
As for Crute, he’s won four of his five bouts in the UFC to date and is coming off back-to-back victories over Michal Oleksiejczuk and Modestas Bukauskas, which has left him placed at No.12 in the 205lb weight class, four places beneath Smith.
Smith vs. Crute joins a UFC 261 card that is yet to have a headlining fight installed, but will also feature a postponed middleweight match-up between former champion Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall.