Paul Daley file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Strikeforce confirmed Wednesday that noted sluggers Paul Daley and
Smith will square off in a welterweight tilt at
Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu” Dec. 4 at the Scottrade
Center in St. Louis, Mo.
A world-ranked welterweight, Daley (25-9-2) signed with Strikeforce
in 2010 after defeating Jorge
Masvidal at Shark Fights 13 on Sept. 11. Prior to that, Daley
fought in the UFC with mixed results. After ripping off
back-to-back knockouts against Martin
Kampmann and Dustin
Hazelett at UFC 103 and 108, respectively, the Brit faced “The
Ultimate Fighter” season one competitor Josh
Koscheck in a title-eliminator bout at UFC 113. Koscheck
controlled Daley with his superior wrestling for three rounds,
winning a unanimous decision. After the fight had ended, Daley
walked up behind an unaware Koscheck and landed a sucker punch to
Koscheck’s head. After the event, Daley was cut from the UFC, and
company president Dana White stated Daley would never again fight
in the organization.
This will mark Daley’s second run with Strikeforce. He previously
fought under the Strikeforce/Elite XC banner from 2007 to 2008. He
is also the former Cage Rage welterweight champion.
Smith (17-7) is coming off a knockout loss to former Strikeforce
middleweight champion and sanshou stylist Cung Le in June.
That bout was a rematch of their 2009 battle, in which Smith pulled
off a shocking comeback to knock Le out in the third round. Noted
for his heavy hands and durability, “Hands of Steel” owns several
notable come-from-behind victories.
In 2006, Smith fought Matt Serra
Sell at “The Ultimate Fighter” season four finale. After
sustaining a crippling left hook to the liver, an obviously wounded
Smith struggled to stay vertical. As Sell rushed in to finish,
Smith unleashed a desperation haymaker, knocking Sell out and
snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Smith also came back to
knock out hard-punching Benji Radach
in the third round of their 2009 Strikeforce contest.
The card will also feature a main event attraction between former
Pride welterweight and middleweight champion Dan
Henderson and UFC veteran Renato "Babalu"
Sobral as well as a heavyweight tilt between world-ranked
Silva and Pride vet Valentijn