Chokes of Steel?
Hard-hitting Strikeforce scrapper Scott Smith hasn't scored a submission win in over seven years. But that doesn't mean his jiu-jitsu is completely off the table when he throws hands against Tarec Saffiedine at the upcoming Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" event this Saturday night (July 30) in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Smith (17-8) made his first trip to the welterweight division last December, resulting in one of the most amazing knockouts in all of 2010. Unfortunately he was on the receiving end of it, eating a brutal left hook from Paul Daley that had him kissing canvas two minutes into the opening frame.
The loss to "Semtex" marked his second straight defeat and the third in his last four fights.
Smith knows it's time to get back on the hog -- and fast -- against a prospect with everything to gain and nothing to lose, even if it means abandoning the "Hands of Steel" for a more diversified attack:
"I’m definitely getting back to my roots with the wrestling and jiu-jitsu and I’ve fallen back in love with it," Smith told Sherdog's Savage Dog Show. "But … my fighting style, I fight that way because I enjoy [it]. In the Cung Le fight and even the Benji Radach fight, I was injured on my feet to where if I had the confidence in my ground game, I definitely would have tried to take them down. I hadn’t had that confidence in a while and I do have that confidence now. I feel with this fight, I’m going to determine where the fight is. If I like how it’s going on my feet, I’m going to keep it on the feet. That’s where I prefer to keep it. If he’s beating me up on my feet, well, I feel I’m the better wrestler and I can take it down if I need to. I see the fight maybe going midway through the second, a knockout. I’m always looking for the knockout. Like I said, I’ve been working on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu, but first and foremost, I go out there looking for the knockout."
He's certainly got his work cut out for him.
Saffiedine was last inside the cage back in January in a battle of budding prospects against Tyron Woodley, which after three rounds of back-and-forth action left him with his first defeat under the Strikeforce banner.
A well-rounded martial artist, schooled in the disciplines of Shihiashinkai Karate, Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the "Sponge" had previously won his last three bouts against the likes of James Terry, Nate Moore and UFC veteran Brock Larson.
Adding Smith to his resume would be a fine feather in his cap -- as well as a springboard to bigger and better opportunities within the division.
Anyone think he can get it done?