Leaner Than Ever, Smith Welcomes Slugfest with Daley


Scott Smith file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com

Scott Smith says that it was laziness, not a loss, which influenced his choice to drop to 170 pounds for the first time in his fighting career.

“A big part of the decision is that I’ve been kinda lazy and getting away with making 185 too easy,” Smith said during a conference call on Tuesday. “I was a little soft. Cutting to 170 has forced me to diet, and that’s been the worst part of my training, having a clean diet.”

“I was usually walking around at about 200 pounds, ‘cause I could, and I would cut down a couple weeks before the fight. But I jumped right back into training after my last fight, so I didn't get a chance to get out of shape.”

The move comes five months after Smith was halted in the second round of his rematch with former middleweight champion Cung Le, whom Smith knocked out in dramatic fashion in December 2009.

“Three weeks after my last fight, I was walking around at about 189, 190 pounds, so there was no reason I couldn’t cut down to 170,” said Smith. “I think the cut should be pretty good. I’ve been walking around about 185, eating a ton of clean, healthy food. I might be crying on the day of weigh-ins, but I don’t think there’s any reason why I shouldn’t be fighting at 170.”

The heavy-handed 31-year-old -- who held the WEC light heavyweight title in the pre-Zuffa era -- will dive straight into the deep end of the welterweight talent pool in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 4 when he welcomes British bad boy Paul “Semtex” Daley to the Strikeforce fold. It’s a fight clearly engineered to produce a knockout, which is exactly why Smith accepted it without question.

“I look to put on exciting fights. This fight with Paul is an exciting fight, and that's more important to me than a title fight. I’m going to put on a show and the fans are going to like it,” said Smith. “I’m definitely looking for a stand-up fight, but this is MMA. You’ve gotta be ready for anything. I’m working all aspects of my game, but I’m definitely ready for this to be a slugfest.”

To that end, Smith said that his current lack of lingering injuries has allowed him to devote more time to in-ring training, as opposed to simply hitting the heavy bag.

“The main thing with this training camp is I’ve been able to spar a lot more. I’ve been getting in there and actually fighting,” Smith said. “I’ve got a new boxing coach I’ve been working with. I’ve sparred more in the last three months than I have in the last few years.”

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