Former middleweight Scott Smith admits he might be crying at Friday's "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu" weigh-ins.
He knows his first cut to 170 pounds will be a trying experience, but he also knows it's a move he needed to make.
So, as he wraps up preparations for a Showtime-televised fight with fellow welterweight Paul Daley (25-9-2 MMA, 0-0 SF) on Dec. 4, Smith (17-7 MMA, 3-2 SF) thinks he's embarking on a new chapter in his fighting life.
"I just thought this would be a new exciting way to boost my career," Smith recently told MMAjunkie.com.
Even before signing with EliteXC and then Strikeforce in 2008, Smith had earned a reputation as a crowd-pleasing, hard-hitting, never-quit middleweight fighter. A legendary brawl with Pete Sell at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale in 2006 – Smith was crushed with a shot to the liver but knocked out his opponent with what little energy he had remaining for a single punch – put the foundation in place, and he cemented his legacy during wins over Kyle Noke, Benji Radach, Terry Martin and Cung Le in recent years.
But he admittedly put unneeded strain on himself between camps.
So after he lost a rematch to Le in June, the 31-year-old "Hands of Steel" vowed he wouldn't return to his old habits.
"I was usually walking around at about 200 just because I could, and then I would just cut down a couple of weeks before the fight," said Smith, who fights at St. Louis' Scottrade Center for the second time in his career. "I jumped right back into training after my last fight and didn't allow myself to get out of shape. I was lifting, eating, and I never got above 190. I thought it made sense to go down to 170.
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