Scott Smith is gearing up to face former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le this Saturday at Strikeforce: Evolution. Le was recently stripped of the Strikeforce middleweight championship after not having defended the title since he won it over a year and a half ago, and Smith feels his time away from the cage gives him an advantage.
“I think ring rust plays a part,” Smith recently told Bart Mitchell of FightLine.com. “But he’s one of those guys, even filming movies he’s gotta stay in good shape and train to do his movies so I know he is going to be ready to go. I gotta have a little mental edge on the ring rust there, he’s not quite sure if he is ready to go or not.”
Both Smith and Le prefer to stay on their feet. Le has won every one of his bouts via KO or TKO, while Smith has a few submission victories under his belt. Smith feels that he and Le are even in terms of wrestling, however says that he has an advantage with his jiu-jitsu.
“Collegiate wresting wise we’re even, jiu-jitsu wise I have the edge. I don’t know that many people think of me as a fighter until I started getting these big knockouts,” said Smith. “A lot of my knockouts are TKO’s- I take people down and ground-and-pound them. I think I probably won 6 of my first 7 fights by TKO which is considered a knockout, but I was using my wresting and ground-and-pound. I’ve definitely been back to the basics and working on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu more. He’s probably more of a natural athlete then I am, so he can scramble a little bit better, but I think I got a technical edge on the ground.
“There’s parts of his game where he’s better and there’s parts of my game where I’m better,” he continued. “But I think if you lay out five categories then I’m going to be more well rounded in all of them.
Smith also revealed some of his strategy heading into Saturday’s fight.
“I see Cung keeping his distance,” he stated. “He’s a more technical striker and he’ll try and pick me apart. I’ve got to turn it into a street fight and get a hold of him. It’s a great match up.”
Scott Smith faces Cung Le this Saturday at Strikeforce: Evolution on December 19, 2009 in San Jose, California at the HP Pavilion. The event will air live on Showtime in the US, and live on SuperChannel in Canada.