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Anthony Smith won at UFC 261, but perhaps not in the way he had expected.
Saturday, Smith (35-16 MMA, 10-6 UFC) defeated Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor stoppage) in between the first and second rounds. The light heavyweight bout opened up the UFC 261 main card at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
In the opening round, Crute (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) absorbed a number of outside leg kicks that quickly took their toll. Midway through Round 1, Smith landed a hard kick that knocked Crute down. With a blown tire and in survival mode, Crute shot for a takedown – and got it. He held Smith down for the rest of the round.
When the end-of-round horn sounded, Crute gingerly rose to his feet. While strolling back to his stool, it became apparent Crute had been rendered unable to walk, at least not without grotesquely rolling his ankle, to the oohs and aahs of the 15,000 in attendance.
After a pep talk from his coaches, Crute prepared to go back out there for Round 2. However, upon a doctor examination, Crute rolled his ankle again. The cageside physician swiftly waived off the fight, much to the displeasure of Crute, who punched the ring stanchion and crashed to the mat.
With the win, Smith moves to 3-2 since his unsuccessful title challenge against Jon Jones at UFC 235 in March 2019 and has now won two fights in a row. Smith’s other wins since his title shot loss include Alexander Gustafsson and Devin Clark.
As for Crute, his two-fight winning streak is snapped with the loss. His only other career loss came in September 2019 at UFC Fight Night 158 when he lost by submission to Misha Cirkunov.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 261 results include:
Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:50
Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 4:55
Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:50
Kazula Vargas def. Rong Zhu via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
Jeffrey Molina def. Qileng Aori via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:28