Strikeforce Evolution: Cung Le vs Scott Smith Likely

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Cung Le might finally return to fighting to take on former UFC fighter Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith at Strikeforce: Evolution on December 19th in San Jose, CA.

FanHouse confirmed Le has verbally agreed to the fight. Scott Smith at Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers denied any knowledge of the fight, but agreed that would be a great fight for him.

Le (5-0) a San Jose native won the Strikeforce middleweight belt by defeating Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Le. After acting obligations forced le to not defend his title in over a year, he agreed to vacate the Strikeforce belt. Jason Mayhem Miller and Jake Shields will be competing tonight for that vacated belt.

Smith (16-6) is coming off a submission loss to Nick Diez earlier this year at Strikeforce: Lawler vs Shields.

For the latest on Strikeforce: Evolution, check out our MMA Rumors section.

Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith Added To June 6 Strikeforce Fight Card

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Fresh off their respective thrilling wins, the versatile Nick Diaz (19-7) and knockout artist Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (17-5) are eager to get back in the cage. The pair will square off on Saturday, June 6, in a special 180-pound showdown during the live SHOWTIME® telecast of Strikeforce: “Lawler vs. Shields” from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

“I think this is a great fight for me, but I really hate that (Smith) brings his kids to every one of his fights because now I’m going to be made out to be the bad guy or some sort of villain after I beat him up,” said the 25-year-old Diaz, who shocked the MMA world with his complete dominance of four-time world champion Frank Shamrock in the Strikeforce main event on SHOWTIME from HP Pavilion in San Jose on Saturday, April 11. “At the end of the day, I’m going to do what I have to do though and take him out.”

Against Shamrock, Diaz demonstrated his versatility. The Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt spent the majority of the match trading strikes–and getting the better of the exchanges. Known for his prowess on the mat, Diaz is also a professional boxer.

Known for his outstanding endurance, Diaz just completed a 5K race and will compete in an upcoming triathlon near his hometown in Stockton, Calif., in order to prepare for what could be a marathon slugfest in the cage with Smith.

Earlier on the “Shamrock vs. Diaz” fight card, the 29-year-old Smith prevailed in a brutal and action-packed fight that surely will be candidate for 2009 Fight of the Year. The thrilling, seesaw battle with middleweight Benji “The Razor” Radach ended when Smith landed one monstrous punch in the middle of the third round.

“I’m pretty much 100% right now, other than some stitches I have that are tender,” said Smith, who returned to training on Monday, April 13, two days after his victory.

“I usually take a few weeks off, get out of shape and go up to about 210 pounds and wind up spending a few weeks just getting back in shape,” he said, “but I decided I wasn’t going to do that this time. I’m 195 pounds right now and I feel great.”

With 15 of his 17 wins having come by way of knockout, Smith, a Muay Thai specialist, has lived up to his nickname. To prepare adequately for Diaz’s grappling capabilities, Smith will work with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ricardo Barros.

“Diaz is a great fighter,” acknowledged Smith. “He’s going to come in there and out grapple me and out strike me so what I have to do is go in there and beat him up. I actually think this is more of a dangerous fight for him than it is for me.”

The live SHOWTIME telecast of the event begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). In the highly anticipated main event, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (16-4) will face off with fellow top-ranked superstar Jake Shields (22-4-1) in a 182-pound catch weight fight.

Additionally, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni (13-10) will collide with Joe “Diesel” Riggs (29-10) in a 170-pound contest.

Doors at the Scottrade Center will open for Strikeforce: “Lawler vs. Shields” at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 6. The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m.

Strikeforce Results “Frank Shamrock vs Nick Diaz”

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Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Diaz” takes place April 11th from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Headlining the card is a catchweight fight between veterans Frank Shamrock and Nick Diaz.

Cagetoday.com will have live coverage of the undercards starting around 7:30pm EST. The main card will follow live on Showtime at 9pm EST.

MAIN CARD

PRELIMINARY CARD

  • Waylon Kennell vs. Eric Lawson
    Result: Eric Lawson defeats Waylon Kennell via TKO (Punches) at 4:54 of R1.
  • Buck Meredith vs. Luke Rockhold
    Result: Luke Rockhold defeats Buck Meredith via Submission (Head and Arm Choke) at 4:07 of R1.
  • Raul Castillo vs. Brandon Michaels
    Result: Raul Castillo defeats Brandon Michaels via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:45 of R1.
  • Zak Bucia vs. James Terry
    Result: James Terry defeats Zak Bucia via Unanimous Decision. (30-27 x3)
  • Shingo Kohara vs. Jeremy Tavares
    Result: Shingo Kahara defeats Jeremy Tavares via KO(Knee) at 0:04 of R2.