Anthony Smith
Lionheart

USA

Comes through as underdog
Light HeavyweightUFC
April 24, 2021
Smith defeated Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1 at UFC 261 on Saturday in Jacksonville.
ANALYSIS
Yes, the doctor stopped the fight, but the excellent work of Smith was the reason the bout ended up in that position. Anthony consistently peppered Crute with his jab before firing off a perfectly placed kick to the back of Crute's knee. The shot must have hit a nerve because Crute immediately crumbled. He was compromised for the few seconds remaining in the frame, and it got no better in between rounds. Smith looked done following back-to-back losses to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in the middle of 2020, but has since rebounded with stoppage wins over Crute and Devin Clark. Smith is somehow still just 32 years old despite having more than 50 professional fights under his belt. He could theoretically make another run at 205 pounds.
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Set to face Jimmy Crute
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 9, 2021
Smith will face Jimmy Crute in a light heavyweight fight April 24, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Crute had been set to face Johnny Walker on March 27 but will now face Smith instead roughly a month later after Walker pulled out with a pectoral injury. Smith bounced back from a run of three losses in four fights by submitting Devin Clark in the first round of their November matchup. He'll be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2018. Crute has lost just once in five UFC fights, winning his last two matches in the first round.
Quick submission snaps losing streak
Light HeavyweightUFC
November 28, 2020
Smith defeated Devin Clark via submission (triangle choke) at 2:34 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 18 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
This fight was promoted to a five-round main event, but it didn't need more than a few minutes. Smith seemed to come into this fight with a game plan that would place emphasis on his grappling. Clark rushed forward at the opening bell looking to land a right hand, but Smith took him down and dragged him to the center of the Octagon. Smith did allow Clark to reverse position, but he went to work from his back and secured the choke. Clark wasn't expecting it, and was tapping shortly thereafter. This was a win Smith had to have to remain relevant at light heavyweight after losing three of his last four. He's now ready to take on anyone the UFC throws his way, and could get back in the cage quickly after taking essentially no damage here. In the meantime, he'll walk away $50,000 richer after being awarded Performance of the Night honors for his efforts.
Steps in to face Clark
Light HeavyweightUFC
October 15, 2020
Smith will take on Devin Clark in a light heavyweight bout at the UFC event Nov. 28, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith will be stepping in for Shamil Gamzatov, who had to withdraw due to visa issues. Smith most recently fought at the end of August when he lost to Aleksandar Rakic via unanimous decision. He will hope to avoid dropping his third straight bout.
No-shows Vegas main event
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 29, 2020
Smith lost to Aleksandar Rakic via unanimous decision (26-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
The two men came out firing leg kicks at each other, and Smith got the worse of it. He was clearly compromised in the later stages of Round 1 after Rakic connected with several big shots to the legs (one that resulted in a knockdown), and Smith was never able to recover. Smith was unable to plant and deliver his trademark power shots, and as a result, he spent a good portion of the bout fighting off of his back. The poor performance comes at the worst possible time for "Lionheart". With Jon Jones having vacated the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, the division is seemingly wide open, but Smith was unable to take advantage of the opportunity Saturday. The resurgence of Smith has been one of MMA's better stories over the past several years, but it appears the clock may have finally struck midnight on the 32-year-old. Smith is 1-3 in his past four bouts dating back to his March 2019 loss to Jones.
Fight scheduled for Aug. 29
Light HeavyweightUFC
June 19, 2020
Smith (orbital) is in line to face Aleksandar Rakic in a light heavyweight fight as part of the UFC's upcoming Aug. 29 card, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith was suspended for 60 days by the Florida State Boxing Commission for a fractured orbital bone and lost some teeth in a beatdown at the hands of Glover Teixeira, but he was somehow able to avoid a 180-day suspension that would typically follow such injuries. The booking suggests he's doing well in his recovery, and Smith will aim to bounce back from his second loss in his last three fights after winning six of the previous seven. Smith sports a matching 6-foot-4 frame but surrenders two inches of reach to Rakic.