Scott Smith is your average, involved father. He arranges his work schedule to volunteer at his son's school, coaches his son's junior high wrestling team, and looks forward to a break in work so that he can relax with his kids.
The difference is that Smith's daytime job is fighting, and he will put in the hours at the office this Saturday at Strikeforce: Evolution against former champion, Cung Le. It's a fight that Smith has been itching for.
"I've been wanting to fight Cung Le for a long time. Cung Le was one of those guys that I'm excited to fight," Smith told Cagewriter.
At Strikeforce's event in Chicago, Smith was unsure of his opponent. He went so far as to ask every middleweight around him, "Are you fighting me?" When he finally found out it was Cung Le, Smith said it helped his motivation.
"When you're running on the treadmill, and you don't have an opponent, and you're tired and want to get off the treadmill, it's easy to quit. If you have an opponent in mind, it gives you the drive to do those extra five or ten minutes. Same thing with training. I'm driving all the way to San Francisco to train, and it's a two-hour drive, and it gets to be a lot. When I have an opponent, I remember that Cung Le is doing it, so I need to do it. It helps with the mental preparation."
Smith is happy about the way Strikeforce is bulking up its roster, especially with the addition of Dan Henderson.
"It's exciting for Strikeforce. He's a very tough opponent. It's great for our organization."
Even with a win, Smith knows that he will have to line up behind Henderson for a title shot.
"It's tough to tell with the 185s, with signing Dan Henderson. That guy deserves the title fight. A win would definitely put me in the mix, but I wouldn't be hurt if I didn't get one."
No matter what happens this Saturday, Smith does have one definite plan, and that's spending time with his two sons for the holidays.
"I keep picturing myself after this fight. I can't wait to relax with my kids. It's nice to get a big payday right before Christmas, and get to relax afterwards."
Perhaps Santa will bring Smith an early present: a win over Cung Le.