UFC: Anthony Smith steps in for Johnny Walker and will fight Jimmy Crute

Anthony Smith

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.

What’s next for Devin Clark after UFC Vegas 15?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Devin Clark (12-5) got the biggest opportunity of his career. After COVID scratched the original main event, he got the opportunity to headline a card against a former UFC title challenger in Anthony Smith.

Clark came into UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight winning streak. He was the first man to derail the hype train of Alonzo Menifield back in June, but this was going to be a big step up in competition for Brown Bear.

Clark has very good wrestling and many people thought he could give Anthony Smith problems. Smith had some issues in his last couple of fights giving up takedowns and Clark had a style that could give him problems.

As soon as the fight started, Clark showed that he was game. Immediately opening the UFC Vegas 15 headliner with a big right hand which he attempted to chain into a takedown. However, Lionheart Smith did a fantastic job of reversing the position to take Clark down.

I was impressed with how Clark was able to defend himself on the ground. Brown Bear didn’t panic and he looked to reverse. Eventually, he exploded to end up in top position. However, he got a little lazy with his hands and Anthony Smith locked him in a triangle choke.

After initially defending the choke, Clark was forced to tap. The UFC Vegas 15 loss snapped his winning streak and it didn’t last very long. A tough loss for the Jackson-Wink product.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

After the loss this past weekend, it’s back to the drawing board for Brown Bear. Clark did a few things really well in the fight, but a tactical error saw his first UFC main event end really quickly.

Fortunately, there’s no shame in losing to a top ten opponent who’s a former title challenger. It was a big step up in competition and maybe one that Clark wasn’t quite ready for. However, there are plenty of opponents in the UFC for him after this.

One matchup I like is a potential matchup with Ion Cutelaba (15-6, 1 NC). Cutelaba was ranked in the top 15 before he lost his second consecutive fight to Magomed Ankalaev back in October at UFC 254.

The Hulk would be a good next matchup for Clark. Both men are outside of the top 15 currently in the light heavyweight division. However, a win for either man would get them back on track to challenge someone in the UFC‘s top 15 at light heavyweight.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC Vegas 15?

Anthony Smith

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) took on Devin Clark (12-5) in the main event. Originally the two were supposed to be in the co-main, but the original main event was scrapped due to a positive COVID test. 

The two also agreed to change the fight from three rounds to five rounds. However, the UFC Vegas 15 main event would not require more than a couple of minutes of the first round.

Devin Clark came out fast and hit Smith with a right hand. After that, he tried to initiate the takedown and use his wrestling. However, Smith did a very good job of reversing the position and landing a takedown of his own.

Once on the ground, Smith tried to get the back of Clark. Clark did a good job of defending and actually reversed the position to get on top. However, once there, Smith was able to lock up a triangle choke off of his back.

Clark tried to fight it off, but Smith locked it in very tight forcing the tap. A massive win for Smith who had entered UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight losing streak. Both fights he looked completely checked out, but he looked fantastic on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

It really can’t be expressed how big UFC Vegas 15 was for Anthony Smith. Lionheart is a former title challenger, but a loss would have been devastating for his career. After his last loss, people were suggesting a potential move back to middleweight.

However, Smith looked better than ever locking up the quick win on Saturday. So what should the UFC do with Smith after his big win? Well there are a couple of options, but a fight I really like is Smith and Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker is coming off of a pretty impressive knockout victory over Ryan Spann back in September. He’s currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s light heavyweight rankings and could use a bump up in competition.

After defeating a non-ranked opponent, I think it would also be good for Smith to fight someone in the top ten in his next outing. Time will tell what the promotion does, but that would be my suggestion.

Anthony Smith makes quick work of Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 15

Anthony Smith

In the main event of tonight’s UFC Vegas 15 card, we had a light heavyweight contest that was originally scheduled to be the co-main event. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16) took on Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-4) in a five round light heavyweight showdown.

Just a couple of days ago, this fight was scheduled for three rounds as the co-main of UFC Vegas 15. However, Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID and the fight was bumped up. Both fighters also agreed to move it to a five round contest.

Anthony Smith was looking to bounce back after back-to-back losses in the UFC. Smith is a former title challenger, but he’s simply looked lost in about his last seven rounds of action. He was looking to right the ship against Clark.

Devin Clark was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career. Headlining his first show against a former title challenger was a big step up for Clark. Factoring in a two-fight winning streak, and you can see that Clark had a lot going for him.

UFC Vegas 15 Recap

Round 1

As the first round of the UFC Vegas 15 main event got underway, Clark immediately looked to close the distance. Clark landed a good clean right hand and forced the clinch. However, it was Anthony Smith who was able to get the upper hand and slam Clark to the ground.

Once the fight was on the ground, Smith was able to get the back of Clark. However, Clark was able to reverse the position to get top position. Clark started to look to pass the guard. However, Smith was really looking to stay active off his back.

Lionheart was able to lock up a triangle choke from the bottom. Clark fought hard to try to get out of the submission, but he was forced to tap. Huge bounce back win for Anthony Smith.

Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark by Submission (Triangle Choke) – Round 1

UFC: Anthony Smith makes his return against Aleksandar Rakic on August 29th

Anthony Smith, UFC

The UFC will be hosting a Fight Night on August 29th, and the card will feature a contest between two top ten light heavyweights. Former title challenger, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-15) will be making his return against Austrian, Aleksandar Rakic (12-2)

Smith trying to get back to a UFC title shot

We last saw Smith back at UFC Fight Night 171 in May against Glover Teixeira. After a really good start, Smith got rocked in the middle rounds and never recovered. Teixeira finished Smith off in the fifth round. Prior to that loss, Smith has been one of the top light heavyweights in the UFC over the last couple of years. Smith won three fights in a row in 2018 which gave him a shot at champion, Jon Jones. Smith was shut out by Jones, but bounced back strong defeated Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden. Smith will look to get back on track towards another UFC title shot with a win in August.

Rakic looks to climb the mountain

Rakic lost his first professional fight, then he went on a 12 fight winning streak with nine knockouts. Rakic lost an extremely close decision to Volkan Oezdemir back in December at UFC Fight Night 165 which snapped that streak. Going into that fight, Rakic had back-to-back first round stoppages over Jimi Manuwa and Devin Clark. Rakic is ranked ninth in the light heavyweight division, but a win over Smith would vault him close to the top five. It’s a big fight for both men as Smith will try to get back to title contention while Rakic will look to start climbing the mountain for the first time.