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Saturday, July 30, 2011
Scott Smith's head is still a bust

By Chuck Mindenhall

Scott Smith vs Tarec Saffiedine
Scott Smith's standup routine proved easy pickins' for Tarec Saffiedine, left.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Scott Smith’s ability to withstand just enough punishment to make for an improbable comeback held up -- only this time, he took all the punishment and stayed behind. In fighting as in the NFL, come backs make for lively entertainment, but -- as the old adage goes -- good teams don’t fall behind to begin with. Smith fell behind and the route was on. There was no Hail Mary Pete Sell, but there was a macabre seen on his face. This becomes the new constant.

Smith’s commitment to movement (and in particular head movement) was only marginally in evidence tonight against Tarec Saffiedine, and even then only early on. After that Smith was easy pickins'. Ganyao Fairtex, his striking coach, can teach technique but unfortunately not reflexes. Smith stood totem still as Saffiedine changed levels and stances to find the mark. Several times Saffiedine telegraphed shots right down the pipe that landed square. He landed some head kicks late, and Smith ate them gallantly. Problem is gallantry isn’t rewarded here. Saffiedine won by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-26.

For Smith, it’s three losses in a row and likely the end of his run in Strikeforce. Will be a hard row back to relevance for “Hands of Steel.” His next come back to save his career, should he continue on.