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UFC 261: Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute Fight Preview and Breakdown

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute kicks off the main card this Saturday at UFC 261. Crute has been on a two-fight win streak since his first loss in his career whereas “Lionheart” has gone 2-2 since his title shot. Both men are looking to finish their opponent in hopes of jumping straight into the title picture. With the incredible techniques that both fighters possess, we can be sure for a barnburner of a fight. Let us break down how each athlete can win at UFC 261.

Anthony Smith

In the fight game, there are few with a bigger heart than martial arts veteran Anthony Smith. “Lionheart” is one of the most experienced fighters in the game, beating legends like Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua, to stopping up-and-coming prospects like Devin Clark and Andrew Sanchez. Smith’s biggest advantage is his sharp elbows. He can throw them from almost any angle and when they hit, they are devastating and almost always result in rocking his opponent. Going into this bout with Crute, he must try to counter all of Jimmy’s advances with his sharp tools, such as his elbows and knees.

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute has fight of the night potential and although it will be very technical, we can’t forget that both men are on an almost even playing field in the grappling exchanges. These fighters possess amazing abilities in not only offensive submissions but also defensive submissions. An exchange in the grappling realm is unlikely but not to be counted out, as Smith likes to grab a sneaky submission from the least suspecting positions.

Jimmy Crute

“The Brute” Crute heads into this bout coming off of a 2 fight finishing streak and with a 75% finishing rate. Jimmy has some of the most underappreciated techniques in the game and will be looking to add another finish to his resume. His counter striking is absolutely beautiful and he has the patience of a saint, Crute never overextends any of his strikes and very rarely slips away from his game plan. He baits his opponents not only with feints but also with keeping his head on the centerline until they decide to advance. This gives him the ability to make a split-second read and reaction which is how he won his last fight against Modestas Bukauskas.

When he hurts his opponents, the aggression balances out with technique and he intelligently pushes forward for the finish. His ability on the ground may be where he has the least advantages but when it comes to Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute, he should not be counted out at all as he boasts four submissions on his record mostly against high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners. Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute is a perfect stylistic matchup to kick off the main card with the return of a full capacity crowd arena.

The Breakdown

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute isn’t only potentially a fight of the night, but possibly a fight of the year. Using the knowledge we have just gained, let’s break it down and see why. Smith has incredible submission offense and one hell of a chin. If Crute hurts him and advances, he could very well find himself on the wrong end of a triangle choke. “The Brute” will look for clinching exchanges to show his confidence in the grappling but “Lionheart” has seen it all and may not think much of this. Jimmy must stay patient and only push forward after putting Anthony off balance with a leg kick or even after Smith potentially bites on a feint.

Both fighters pack a punch but Smith has had a long career and doesn’t want to stay striking with Crute for too long as the power in Jimmy’s hands is brutal. Anthony should look for a takedown against the cage and work into half guard where he can get a signature arm-triangle choke. This fight is bound to give the fans what they want and should definitely live up to the hype.

Thank you for joining me in this Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute break down and preview. Follow me on Twitter @LeoJJohnson20 and follow @OTHeroicsMMA for more great content! And don’t forget our Instagram, overtimeheroics_mma. Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!

Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images and Embed from Getty Images

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute

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