Scott Smith: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Though Scott Smith is quick to list the benefits of his recent decision to drop from 185 to 170 pounds, the noticeably thinner brawler admits there has been one significant drawback to the idea.
“Thanksgiving kind of sucked this year.”
Smith is scheduled to make his welterweight debut this Saturday against British bomber Paul Daley on Strikeforce’s card at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. A former WEC light heavyweight champion, Smith says that his weight cut has gone according to plan thus far.
“I feel really good. I’m about 177 pounds right now. The worst part of my training has always been my diet, and I’ve had to focus on that to make 170,” explained Smith at Friday's pre-fight press conference. “I’m quicker than I’ve ever been, and I’m just as strong. Speed is power.”
Though coming off a loss to former Strikeforce middleweight king Cung Le, Smith is still widely regarded as a formidable 185-pounder. When asked why he chose to shed the extra pounds, the muay Thai specialist gave a frank reply.
“It's been real easy to make 185. I’ve been making weight with a bad diet and coming in soft,” he said. “I wanted to clean up my diet and come down to [welterweight]. I think I’m going to be real big and strong fighting at 170.”
In order to make the drop to welterweight, Smith has revamped what he puts in his body, even going so far as to outsource his meal preparation to comply with his new diet. His meals are now cooked and pre-packed for consumption, ensuring that Smith need only worry about training.
Heading into his fight on Saturday, sports books have made Smith approximately a 3-1 underdog, a role which he says he doesn't mind playing. In Daley, Smith faces a strong, heavy-handed welterweight who owns 18 of his 25 professional wins by knockout.
“Paul is definitely one of the more dangerous strikers I’ve faced,” said Smith. “I think that Benji Radach and Robbie Lawler might have been more powerful, but Paul is really technical.”
Though Smith has fought the second half of his career almost exclusively at middleweight, the 31-year-old comeback artist made an exception last year, cutting down to face Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz at a catch-weight of 180 pounds.
“The fight against Diaz, I weighed in at 179, and that was one of the easiest cuts I’ve had. I’ve had tougher times making 185 than that. So as long as I focus and commit myself, I know I can [make 170].”
If the California resident can overcome Daley on Saturday, he will insert himself into a select group of fighters who might contend for Diaz’s strap. When pressed on whom he would like to face next, “Hands of Steel” did not mince words, immediately naming Evangelista Santos.
“I'd really like to fight ‘Cyborg,’ said Smith. “I think it would be a great fight for the fans.”