Smith vs. Le

One of the featured bouts of Saturday’s Strikeforce card is a middleweight contest between Scott Smith and Cung Le.

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This fight is a rematch of a bout that took place last December when Smith scored a knockout of Le in the third round. For the rematch, Le enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -300 with Smith given a line of +220 according to online sports book Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from HP Pavillion in San Jose, California at 10PM ET on Showtime.

Scott Smith (17-6)

Strengths: Smith is a very powerful striker with “Hands of Steel” as his nickname goes. 14 of his 17 wins have come by TKO and he has only had one fight in his career go to a decision, so he doesn’t like to leave it in the hands of a judge. Smith never shys from contact and he has a solid chin, which allowed him to take a lot of punishment from Le before landing the knockout punch.

Weaknesses: While Smith is tough as nails, he still lacks in a lot of areas, mostly in his wrestling and grappling. The blueprint is pretty simple for Smith, get him to the ground and pound on him. He hasn’t shown the ability to beat opponents on the ground. He has also struggled with opponents that have better striking technique than he does.

Last Five Fights:

Third round KO win over Cung Le at Strikeforce on Dec. 19, 2009

Third round submission loss to Nick Diaz at Strikeforce on June 6, 2009

Third round KO win over Benji Radach at Strikeforce on April 11, 2009

First round KO win over Terry Martin at Strikeforce on Nov. 21, 2008

Second round TKO loss to Robbie Lawler at Elite XC on July 26, 2008

Cung Le (6-1)

Strengths: Le is a very diverse striker that uses a lot of variations of punches and kicks to break down his opponents. Le has a Lyoto Machida style of fighting, but tends to be more aggressive. He also is solid on the ground, which makes him dangerous wherever the fight will go. Until the loss to Smith, Le had won all six fights in his pro career by knockout.

Weaknesses: Le has only fought one time in the last two years, and that was the loss to Smith. The long layoff may have affected his in-cage abilities. Le still looked solid before leaving himself open to the big punch from Smith, but Le didn’t have the tendency to leave himself open like he did in that fight. With a committed training regimen, Le should have shaken off all of the cage rust he had.

Last Five Fights:

Third round KO loss to Scott Smith at Strikeforce on Dec. 19, 2009

Third round TKO win over Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce on March 29, 2008

Third round KO win over Sam Morgan at Strikeforce on Nov. 16, 2007

Third round KO win over Tony Fryklund at Strikeforce on June 22, 2007

First round TKO win over Jason Von Flue at Strikeforce on Dec. 8, 2006

Who will win: Le was in complete control of the fight with Smith in the first meeting until Smith swing for the fences and it landed. This time around, look for Le to return to controlling the fight, but not let himself get caught with the big punch. We like Le to win this fight in the second round by TKO.

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Posted: 6/26/10 10:10AM ET


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