Tarec Saffiedine vows to stick to his guns against Scott Smith. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Tarec Saffiedine plans on sticking to his strategy Saturday against Scott Smith at Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Henderson.”
He discarded his game plan in his last bout, and it cost him as he dropped a unanimous decision to Tyron Woodley.
“I was supposed to stay on the outside and avoid the clinch,” Saffiedine said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I did the opposite during the fight. I don’t know why. I got maybe excited before the fight. I was the main event and I wasn’t really 100-percent focused. I fell into his game plan. I wasn’t smart. I just fought with my emotions and I just forgot about the game plan.”
However, Saffiedine said he has learned his lesson.
“I went back to the gym and worked on my mistakes,” he said. “I talked to my coaches and I put [together] a really good game plan for this fight.”
The Team Quest representative suggested that he will look to frustrate and outsmart Smith. In particular, he mentioned the importance of staying away from Smith’s power, which the veteran fighter has called on to deliver some of the sport’s classic come-from-behind victories.
“He’s dangerous for the entire fight,” Saffiedine said. “I’ve got to be smart and careful during the entire fight. Even if I’m winning the fight, I’ve got to be smart. As long as I stick to my game plan, it’s going to be a good night for me for sure.”
Although Smith is dangerous on the feet, Saffiedine sounded eager to strike rather than have to defend repeated takedown attempts from a high-caliber wrestler like Woodley.
“For once I won’t have to worry too much about his takedowns even though I know Scott Smith has some wrestling background,” he said. “But definitely it’s an exciting matchup and it’s exciting for me to fight a striker for once.”
Saffiedine also considers Smith a foe with some name value. If nothing else, Smith is recognized as a game opponent who comes to bang, and a win over him could certainly boost Saffiedine’s career.
“I have to win,” Saffiedine said. “Really, honestly, I have to win to step up in my career. It’s a big opportunity for me, and I’m making sure I don’t mess it up.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:03:25).