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Wednesday, Nov 24, 2010

Smith, Daley, Lindland, Lawler and Coker Talk Dec. 4th

By FCF Staff
Strikeforce hosted a teleconference this week with four of the competitors that are scheduled to fight on the promotion’s upcoming December 4th event in St. Louis. On the line were welterweights and soon to be opponents Paul Daley and Scott Smith, as were middleweights Matt Lindland and Robbie Lawler, who will also fight on the Showtime card. (Pictured above: Lindland hitting Kevin Casey)
The “Henderson vs. Babalu” event will be headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between former Pride champ Dan Henderson and former Strikeforce champion, Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Here is some of what Daley, Smith, Lindland, Lawler and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had to say on the call.
Q: How do you feel going into this fight to be fighting at 170 pounds for the first time, and what was behind your decision to move down to welterweight for this fight?
Smith:  “A big part of the decision is that I have been lazy at getting away with making 185. I’ve been a little soft a couple of times.  Fighting at 170 has forced me to diet and that has been the worst part of my training.  Three weeks after my last night I was walking around at 189, but I didn’t think there was any reason that I couldn’t cut down to 170, so I’ve been walking around at about 185, eating a ton of healthy food. I think the cut should be good. I might be crying about it on the day of weight-ins but I don’t think there is any reason why I shouldn’t be fighting at 170.”
Q: What has been the root of your recent weight cutting issues?
Daley:  “The times that I am missing weight, I think I am being a bit naïve where I am in regards to when I need to start my diet.  I should be doing it way earlier, and my weight is down to about 178 right now, and everything has gone well.  And for the past fights I have been flying out on Wednesdays before the fight due to my visa taking awhile and that was an issue. But I am not making any excuses this time and it will be much better.”
Q: Scott, could Robbie get the title shot if he beats Matt, and if so does it work the other way around as well?
Coker:  “This fight is going to very important for the title contention for the 185 class.  Matt has fought Jacare (Souza) and that was about a year ago, so we can revisit that. We will definitely be keeping our eye on it to monitor to see who wins and how he wins because of the fight that we want to put together for Jacare.  This is definitely a fight that is right up there for the title contention.” 
Lawler Kicking Sobral
Q: Robbie and Matt, because there could be a title shot on the line is there more pressure?
Lindland:  “I think all fights have the same amount of pressure, especially when you are playing at this caliber and fighting either a top contender or a champion or a former champion.  It’s not necessarily about who wins or loses, it’s about putting on a good performance and fighting.  I have never seen Robbie in a fight that wasn’t exciting, so I don’t plan on this being any different.  I am looking forward to going out there and performing and kicking the shit out of Robbie.”
Lawler:  “I am not too worried about what is happening after this fight. I am worried about training for Matt and going to get in there and doing my best.”
Q: What is up next for the winner of Smith/Daley?
Coker:  “I think when people talk about our 170 weight class, obviously you know that Nick Diaz is our world title holder, and I think that this fight is going to have title contention, as far as who is going to fight for the title. Depending on the belt and where he’s at and who he is fighting but we have some plans for Scott or Paul.  But you also in that weight class have to mention Evangelista. It will be interesting and this fight will help determine who goes where.”
Q: Robbie, have you had a chance to work with wrestlers to get ready for a guy like Matt?
Lawler:  “I didn’t go down to Arizona this time because the gym wasn’t open, but I’ve been working on my wrestling as much as I’ve been working on all my other skills.  I’ve trained hard for this fight and I look forward to it.” 
Q: Matt, where do you feel like you fall in your career and your goals?
Lindland:  “I think I am still one of the top contenders in this sport, a top 10 guy and of course I lost to a champion, Jacare, and I think this is a great path back to that title contention.  A win against Robbie certainly solidifies me in that top 10.  I just need to focus on this fight.  I have been working on all aspects of my game, the standup, the ground, the wrestling, the submissions. Every bit of it.  Robbie is a well rounded fighter and people categorize him as a big striker and a brawler, he knows how to fight on his feet. But he knows how to wrestle and he knows how to fight on the ground. So I have to be prepared for all aspects of the sport.  Right now I am just focusing on coming in the best shape and being healthy.  I have zero injuries, so no excuses going into this fight. I’m looking forward to it. I am very excited about this opportunity.”
Smith Hitting Cung Le
Q: Scott, facing a big striker like Daley have you been working on striking defense?
Smith:  “Yes, definitely. I have a new boxing coach that I have been working with for a little while now and he’s been great for me.  I haven’t had the opportunity to spar as much in the last two years but I have in the last two months and that makes a big difference.  I know Paul is a very dangerous fighter and he’s definitely not a guy who you want to go in there and take shots from. So I have definitely worked on my defense.”
Q: Paul, Scott Smith is known for his come-from-behind wins, how much does that factor in?
Daley:  “It is something I have looked at in his past fights. He’s had some crazy fights where he comes back Rocky style, but I am very good at finishing fights. When I hit people they stay hit.  Both of us are knockout punchers, so from my point of view there has to be some caution to the way I approach things compared to the way I approach a standard fight.  There are some tactics that I have been working on because of Smith’s fighting style.  I have been working everything but I am slightly more cautious about working on other things when it comes to standup.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 1:34 pm
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