via Sherdog Photo by Jeff Sherwood
The opening round between Tarec Saffiedine and Scott Smith started out with both men engaging quickly. Saffiedine was the aggressor working knees from the clinch against the cage doing damage to the body of Smith. Smith was unable to find his range in the opening round with Tarec utilizing nice footwork and leg kicks to damage the former middleweight.
The second round was more of the same with Saffiedine switching between orthodox and southpaw which had Smith confused about his opponent's tactics. Saffiedine began to use muay thai combos that did constant damage to the head and body of Smith. He landed a big head kick that stumbled Smith who attempted a takedown to survive. The takedown failed and Saffiedine quickly took Scott Smith's back to work for a choke. Smith was able to defend and regain his feet but it was more of the same. Smith just couldn't get Tarec's timing and was sluggish on all strikes thrown.
The final round began and Saffiedine continued his punishment of Scott Smith. Smith's game plan for this entire fight was to look for his big right hand. Unfortunately, he wasn't setting it up and by allowing Saffiedine time to work his creative combinations, he took unnecessary damage. The cumulative damage to Smith's face was noticeable with blood pouring down. With thirty seconds left, Smith finally was able to close the distance; however, Tarec continued to circle away and avoided the hail mary knockout punch.
The fight went to a decision with one judge scoring the fight 30-26 while the other two saw it 30-27. The statistics on this fight tell the tale. Saffiedine threw more overall strikes and landed more power shots than Smith. The win moves Tarec one step closer to a Strikeforce title shot and 4-1 overall in the organization. Smith drops his third straight fight and is now 0-2 as a welterweight. He's 3-4 overall in Strikeforce.