Anthony Smith will be filling in for Johnny Walker to face Jim Crute on April 24 in a fight between two ranked light heavyweights.
ESPN has reported that Johnny Walker has been forced to pull out of his fight against Jim Crute, prompting Anthony Smith to step up to the plate. Thus far, there is no other fight lined up for the April 24 Fight Night card.
Fortunately for Anthony Smith, he will have ample time to prepare for his new assignment, with over two full months to prepare to avoid the hassles of a short-notice fight. Smith has never been one to turn down a fight, and he proved that when he stepped in to fight an unranked Devin Clark on short notice last November. Smith was able to get the submission finish in this contest to earn his first win in three fights.
Prior to this victory, Anthony Smith had lost fights to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic. With a victory here, he would have a new winning streak and could move back into the top 5.
Jim Crute has much to gain and very little to lose in this fight. Crute is ranked at #12 in the division, which is six spots below Smith, who sits at #6. At only 24 years old, a loss here would serve as merely a learning experience for Crute to use in his future growth. A win, on the other hand, would break him into the top 10 and put him on pace to possibly challenge for the title within the next 12 months with another win or two.
As much as every fighter should be prepared for loss and growth early in their career, everyone wants to win, so Crute will no doubt look to make the most of this opportunity that Anthony Smith and the UFC have provided him.
Jim Crute is currently 4-1 in the UFC and most recently defeated Modestas Bukauskas last October.
Who do you predict will win this light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Jim Crute?