Former UFC middleweight Scott Smith will head south once again to battle some of the top talent in the 170-pound division, this time throwing hands opposite Tarec Saffiedine on the televised portion of this Saturday night's (July 30) Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" card on Showtime, live from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Smith (17-8) made his welterweight debut 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.
That could be a big part of the reason why Smith is the +200 underdog, while Saffiedine is the -260 favorite, the widest betting margin in his career and the first time he's seen that status since May 2010 when he took on Nate Moore under the "Challengers" banner.
"Hands of Steel" hasn't been the favorite since his 2008 clash against Terry Martin at Strikeforce: "Destruction."
Saffiedine (10-3) 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?
Scott Smith (+200) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (-260) at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson." Who ya' got and why?