Daley vs. Smith Confirmed for Dec. 4 Strikeforce


Paul Daley file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com

Strikeforce confirmed Wednesday that noted sluggers Paul Daley and Scott 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 pupil Pete 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 Antonio Silva and Pride vet Valentijn Overeem.

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