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Cung Le vs. Scott Smith expected for “Strikeforce: Evolution” in December

cung leAfter more than a year and a half hiatus that included him recently vacating his Strikeforce middleweight championship, Cung Le appears to be all set to make his return to the promotion.

Apparently Le has already agreed to face off with middleweight knockout artist Scott Smith according to a recent report on

The two are expected to square off at the “Strikeforce: Evolution” card set for December 19 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The bout will mark Le’s first return to action since obtaining the Strkeforce middleweight crown during a battle with Frank Shamrock in March of 2008. He sports an unblemished record of 6-0, with all six f his victories coming by either KO or TKO.

Smith will be looking to place himself back in the winner’s circle following his third round rear-naked choke defeat at the hands of Nick Diaz in June of this year. Just prior to his recent loss Smith had racked up consecutive knockout victories over the likes of Benji Radach and Terry Martin.

  • nate says:

    i love cung le and i love this fight. and not the my opinion matters.. but i think that cung le totally did the right thing (albeit a bit delayed.) he wasn’t defending his belt in a timely manner so he relinquishes it. Now that he wants to continue fighting he has to work his way up again to the belt. I think that a number one contender fight against Scott Smith is a perfect way to determine his worth of the title shot, let alone the belt again.

    I can’t see alot of fighters who hold belts ever give it up, then return to fight again w/o an immediate title shot. for example Oveereem has shown he won’t ever give up his belt…even if it was taken from him, he would demand a title shot upon his first fight back and if he wasn’t given one he’d probably never fight for the promotion or stateside again for that i think it really shows alot of class for cung to do what he did.

    and is it just me or does strikeforce seem to be making ALL the right moves in the past month or so? all these huge signings are going down and the UFC has fighters dropping like flies.. Strikeforce has moved from something to occupy the time between UFC cards to a legitimate promotion whom i look forward to seeing everything they got..

  • WarCry says:

    Perhaps I’m being paranoid but, the timing of this seems a bit odd. Cung Le finally wants to fight after 18 months and its a month difference between where he would be defending his title and this new matchup. My Sherlock Holmes skills say he didn’t want any part of Mayhem or Shields. Consider what a defeat on national tv could mean for his acting aspirations. A fight with Scott Smith would better showcase his skills due ito Smith’s limited Jiu-Jitsu. This fight will stay standing in a war that will be in keeping with the image he wants to project for those Hollywood scripts.

    Side note

    I’m surprised Strikeforce’s inaugural foray onto network tv is getting the same preview and predictions

  • Erbros says:

    Cung Le showed a lot of integrity & respect for the sport of MMA by vacating his belt because of his long hiatus. Alistair Overeem, the juiced up Strikeforce Heavyweight “champion”, should take note of this & do the right thing & give up his belt, which has become a complete facade due to his obvious hiding out in Japan to avoid drug testing.

  • Bullylover says:

    really wish diaz could of returned to the mw division and face cung.That was the fight that i wanted to see but smith vs le isn’t that bad.I have a feeling that this fight ismight look like cung le’s fight against tony fryklund.i know that smith always comes to bring it so it should have it’s entertaing moments.The winner of this should face the winner of jacare/linland for the #1 contender spot.

  • submit662266 says:

    I agree with what has been said: Cung Le showed class in stepping down. Two great strikers. . . should be great.

    I agree with Bully about Nick Diaz. I really hope Nick can get back in the game.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Scott Smith has the heart of a lion, but Cung is the better striker. I’d like to see Cung face a legit wrestler like Shields or somebody with top notch bjj like Diaz.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    It seems to me that Le is being handed some pretty good match ups. Smith who is a stand up fighter with a questionable chin?? There is much better fights out there than Smith.
    Cung Le would be submitted by Miller or Shields by the end of round 2 at best.
    Smith will likely be the hardest puncher he has faced and a tough first fight in a year and a half.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    So dude gives up his belt because his big hollywood movie is about to break and the offers are gonna roll in and oh, oh, no!! the movie bombed!!!! I need to go back to fighting, but my title just got fought for by two dudes I’m afraid of, I better fight someone I think I can beat while I wait for someone to make another Mortal Combat movie. See ya on SYFY soon dude.

  • Niv says:

    I think Cung Le did the right thing in taking this fight with Scott Smith. He is being very honest when he said yesterday I thought it was time to get back in there and this would be a good fight to get the ring rust out of the way.

    I think he’s being realistic giving himself a very good tune up against a guy who fights balls to the walls, and should prep him for a shot to get his title back.

    I see no shame in being smart about how you get back into the ring.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Smith is no push over and anyone who says he is can take it up with Scott. Le is not taking an easy fight here. I hope he wins though and fights soon after for the title or against the likes of Rua of Misaki.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    smith is completely out-classed in technical striking here, even cung says its a ring rust match, lol. Smith has great heart but this isn’t a disney movie, nick diaz showed how ridiculous scott smith is technically, cung will dismantle him.
    Glad to have you back cung. IMO fighters think acting is much easier than it is and need to stop wasting their prime fighting days diversifying themselves as a brand.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    Erbros: Cung Le showed a lot of integrity & respect for the sport of MMA by vacating his belt because of his long hiatus.

    After a year and a half of not defending it, it was a no-brainer he had to vacate it, if he was classy he would have admitted it a year earlier.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    MMA-LOGIC: Smith is no push over and anyone who says he is can take it up with Scott.

    Yes, I’m sure we all will reserve our opinions and criticisms until we meet the fighters in question. Oh wait, then there would be no site. Hmm….. lol I get your point but who cares, talk is cheap, just be thick-skinned about it, especially if you’re a fighter or any kind of pro athlete

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I’m gonna tell Scott what you said Honor and he is going to be pretty pissed I can tell you. Saying he is shit and then making jokes about his thick skin abnormality. it is a reaction to seafood. You shouldn’t make fun of peoples skin no matter how thick or thin it is. You’re nothing but a monster.

    P.S. I told Lesnar straight to his face that he is a joke and he told me he appreciated the information and pledged to change. So come on Honor man up and tell Smith he is nothing but a stepping stone with an unusual skin deformity. He might thank you for it.

  • mu_shin says:

    Even though Cung Le has only had six MMA fights, he is a truly experienced san shou kickboxing competitor, where he was not only untouchable, but showed a lot of different skills. He is unique in modern MMA, and I’m pleased to hear he will be fighting again. Agree with the sentinments above, Smith is a tough fighter, but Cung Le should handle him with relative ease, re-establishing his place in the Strikeforce middleweight picture. Totally disagree with anyone who thinks Shields or Miller would easily


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