The first fight of the UFC 261 main card Saturday from Jacksonville, Fla., is a light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Jimmy Crute at 10 p.m.
ET. Crute is a -205 favourite on the MMA odds with Smith +160 and an over-under of 1.5 Rounds.
Anthony Smith UFC 261 Odds
Jan Blachowicz is the light heavyweight champion and the American Smith is ranked No. 6 in the division – he is replacing an injured Johnny Walker in this bout.
The 32-year-old Smith has a whopping 50 professional fights on his resume, with a record of 34-16, dating back to 2008 – most at middleweight. He has competed in just about every organization possible, including Strikeforce and Bellator. Smith’s UFC debut was in June 2013, but he was dominated in a loss to Antonio Braga Neto and then released from his contract.
“Lionheart” returned to the UFC in February 2016 and has earned Performance of the Night honours five times. He owns quality wins over the likes of Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Gustafsson. Smith snapped a two-fight losing streak last November with a first-round submission (triangle choke) of Devin Clark.
Smith wins 53 per cent of the time by KO/TKO, 38 per cent by submission and has just two victories by decision and one by “other.” Nine of his 16 losses are by KO/TKO. In UFC action, Smith’s fights average 10:03. He lands an average of 2.94 significant strikes per minute with 46 per cent accuracy and absorbs 4.38 strikes. Smith’s takedown average is 0.49 per 15 minutes with 28 per cent accuracy, and his takedown defence is 51 per cent.
Jimmy Crute UFC 261 Odds
The 25-year-old Crute, from Australia, is ranked No. 13 in the light heavyweight division. “The Brute” is 12-1 in his professional career, which started in 2016 in the Hex Fight Series organization – and he would win a light heavyweight title there.
Crute’s UFC debut was in Dana White’s Contenders Series in July 2018 and he beat Chris Birchler by first-round TKO. That earned Crute a contract with UFC, and he won two more fights before running into Misha Cirkunov in September 2019 and losing by first-round submission. Crute has since won back-to-back fights over Michal Oleksiejczuk and Modestas Bukauskas, earning Performance of the Night honours in both.
The Aussie’s UFC fights average just 5:12, and he has five wins by KO/TKO, four by submission and three by decision. Crute lands an average of 4.36 significant strikes per minute with 57 per cent accuracy and absorbs 2.31. Crute has a takedown average of 4.33 per 15 minutes with 75 per cent accuracy and takedown defence of 60 per cent.
UFC 261 Prediction: Smith vs. Crute
Crute by decision at +300