Strikeforce: Cung Le vs. Scott Smith Prediction

185 lbs: Cung Le vs. Scott Smith

Odds: (-500 Le /+300 Smith )

The semi-Main Event pits former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le against heavy-handed and granite-chinned puncher Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith.  While Cung Le is undefeated, it has been over 18 months since his last fight, a destruction of Frank Shamrock, and Smith is one of the toughest and hardest to finish fighters in the world, so this one has all the makings of a barn burner.

Scott Smith came by his nickname, “Hands of Steel”, honestly.  He is not the most technically proficient boxer in the world, but he has dynamite in his hands and his chin is freakishly solid, allowing him to take some of the most brutal shots imaginable and still keep moving forward.  When you combine his granite chin with his unquenchable heart and determination, Smith is a formidable foe for any fighter in the world, regardless of their relative abilities.

Cung Le is, in a lot of ways, the opposite of Scott Smith.  Smith is the kind of guy who will fight anyone, anytime, anywhere, no questions asked.  Cung Le, on the other hand, is the all-time King of hand-picking favorable opponents.  For years, Le made his name on the kickboxing circuit, fighting under “San Shou” rules, which basically meant that he got to beat superior strikers by utilizing takedowns.  Now that he competes in MMA, ironically, he is willing to go so far as vacating a title to avoid fighting anyone with a ground game so that he can overwhelm them with his superior striking. 

 In addition, Le’s biggest fight, and win, of his career is against an over the hill Frank Shamrock, who not only agreed to stand for the entire fight, but couldn’t see the Top 10 with a high-powered telescope.  No one can deny that Cung Le is a dynamic and talented striker, but he has turned his career into a sideshow, leaving the sport for long stretches to make awful B-movies and then returning periodically to fight an opponent hand-picked to lose to him.  Why anyone still cares is completely beyond me.

Cung Le will win this fight, which is why he took it to begin with.  Smith is arguably the toughest fighter on the planet, and he does have a lot of power, but he is technically overmatched by the faster, more accurate Le.  Cung Le will punish Smith for three rounds, probably not finishing him but bloodying his face up badly and earning a lopsided decision win.  Then he will go star in Revenge of the Dragon Warrior 14 and spare us another debacle for at least another year.

Fight Prediction: Cung Le via unanimous decision.