("Man…I just had deja vu.")
According to Scott Smith’s manager Mike Roberts in an interview he did with his fighter for Sherdog.com, if Cung Le wins their second showdown on Saturday night, "Hands of Steel" will get a guaranteed rematch.
"I told Strikeforce when we accepted this fight that if Scott were to lose, there was going to be a third fight," said Roberts. "I don’t think Scott’s going to lose this fight, but if it were to happen, there’d have to be a rubber match."
Like most fans and pundits, Roberts didn’t see a need for a rematch as he felt his charge has nothing to gain and plenty to lose by facing Le a second time in as many bouts.
"I just don’t think there’s a lot for Scott to gain from fighting Cung Le again," said Roberts. "If he loses, then you obviously have to turn around and have a third fight, but if he wins, he’s just beaten the same guy two times in a row. What does Scott gain from another win over Cung Le? The only reason to have this rematch is that it’s a great fight that fans want to watch."
Beating the former Strikeforce middleweight champion who controlled their first fight for all but a dozen seconds hypothetically should have propelled Smith up the ladder of contenders to probable outgoing champion Jake Shields‘ title, and as such, a match against someone like Dan Henderson or Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza would have made more sense for Smith career-wise. But like his UFC counterpart, Rich Franklin, Smith is a consummate company man who fights whomever Strikeforce puts in front of him in the hopes that his hard work and dedication will lead to a title shot.
"I feel like beating Cung makes me the top contender or in a situation where I [could] get a title shot if I get one more win," said Smith. "But I’m more concerned about being in good fights rather than being in title fights.
"There isn’t anybody in particular I’d like to face if I win, but the 185-pound weight class in Strikeforce is really tough, so I know whoever I face is going to be tough."
Strikeforce president Scott Coker has stated that the winner of the fight will likely be added to the promotion’s planned middleweight tournament that is tentatively set to start in July.