This Saturday, Scott Smith and Cung Le will meet in a rematch from their wildly entertaining fight at Strikeforce “Evolution” last December. As you probably remember, Le devastated Smith with his dynamic striking attack for the first two rounds, only to fade in the third, giving Smith the opportunity to pull off one of his classic come from behind victories. It was a big win for Smith, one he wanted to build off of. Unfortunately for him, Strikeforce had other plans and pushed for an immediate rematch. Smith was less than thrilled.
“At first, I was kind of irritated that Strikeforce wanted to do an immediate rematch,” said Smith. “I feel like if I’d beaten (Le) up for two-plus rounds before getting knocked out, I wouldn’t have gotten the immediate rematch Cung has. It’s not like this was a title fight where an immediate rematch is a clause in the contract or something like that.
“But now I want to prove that I wasn’t just lucky to be able to come back and knock him out,” continued Smith. “I was irritated when Strikeforce first suggested this fight, but now I’m excited even though it’s a high-risk, low-reward fight. If I go out and beat Cung up, then maybe he wasn’t the MMA fighter people thought he’d be. But if he beats me, then I lost to a fighter I just beat.”
“I feel like beating Cung makes me the top contender or in a situation where I get a title shot if I get one more win,” said Smith. “But I’m more concerned about being in good fights rather than being in title fights.”
Smith may not realize it, but according to Scott Coker, he is fighting for a spot in Strikeforce’s likely 185 lbs. tournament. If Cung Le wins, well, Smith’s management has already demanded a rubber match, but Smith may end up in the tournament anyways. Cung has a few movie offers on the table that he might not be able to refuse once this fight’s over.