It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a new opponent for Jimmy Crute (12-1). Earlier today, we found out that Johnny Walker (18-5) had torn his pectoral muscle and as a result, was out of his UFC 260 bout with Crute.
Crute posted on his Instagram last night that someone had already agreed to replace Walker. However, the name hadn’t been released yet. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news that it will be Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) who will be stepping in for Walker.
The fight between the two men has been pushed back from it’s original date at UFC 260. Smith and Crute will fight on a UFC Fight Night that is currently scheduled on April 24th. No word on if this fight will be a main event or not at this point.
With Walker getting injured, Jimmy Crute actually lucked out. He’s getting a higher ranked opponent and he’s fighting someone who has challenged for the UFC‘s light heavyweight championship in addition to taking on some of the division’s best.
This fight is really going to tell us a lot about where Jimmy Crute is. Crute suffered his first loss in 2019 against Misha Cirkunov, but has since bounced back and scored two first round finishes in 2020.
Big UFC Light Heavyweight Matchup
Lionheart has had a very up and down couple of years in the UFC. Back in 2019, Smith got his shot against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship. Smith had won three fights in a row prior including defeating two former light heavyweight champions.
Lionheart lost to Jones by decision. He bounced back extremely well by submitting Alexander Gustafsson. However, that is where the UFC career of Smith hit a wall. Smith was dominated by both Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in back-to-back fights in 2020.
After the two lopsided losses, the UFC gave Smith, Devin Clark. Clark was unranked, but had shown a lot of promise. Smith was able to bounce back and submit Clark in the first round and in doing so, he seemed to get his confidence back.
Now, Smith will take on one of the most dangerous and hungry contenders in light heavyweight division. This fight is going to be massive for the light heavyweight division and whoever wins should be looking to the top five for their next fight.