After Crute had landed several kicks of his own earlier in the round, Smith fired off one of his own with his foot landing just behind the knee. As soon as Crute attempted to step down on his foot, he crumbled to the ground and while he was able to recover enough to secure a takedown, the damage was already done.
In between rounds, Crute attempted to recover but as soon as the ringside physician asked him to step forward, the Australian fighter once again buckled from his injured leg and the contest was stopped immediately.
The official end time comes at 5:00 in round one as Smith earns his second victory in a row overall.
“That’s a good one,” Smith said while watching his leg kick that finished the fight. “I’ve always been a good kicker, I just haven’t been setting it up good enough. Jimmy Crute’s a monster.
“I’ve been working on [my jab] a lot. I showed it a little bit in that Glover Teixeira fight. 51 fights in, I’m still getting better.”
From the start of the fight, Smith established a stiff jab that was snapping Crute’s head back with power and accuracy. By the midway point of the opening round, Crute was already wearing the damage on his face but he was also returning fire with a series of stiff kicks to Smith’s lead leg.
After focusing on his hands, Smith then turned to his own kicking game where he blasted Crute in the leg kick that led to the stoppage.
Based on the way Crute reacted, it appeared he suffered a drop foot, which is typically caused by an injury to a nerve in the leg and even he admitted it would have been nearly impossible for him to continue as much as he wanted the fight to move forward.
“I couldn’t feel my leg,” Crute said afterwards. “I was just going to pull guard cause I couldn’t stand on it.”
After dropping back-to-back fights, Smith has now earned two wins in a row as he continues to serve as a threat to anybody in the light heavyweight division, especially after taking out a highly touted prospect like Crute on Saturday night.