by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
(Additional reporting by Lee Whitehead)
Banished from the UFC, controversial British fighter Paul Daley is now set for his Strikeforce debut. Multiple sources close to the fight told MMAWeekly.com that Daley and Scott Smith have verbally agreed to fight on Dec. 4 in St. Louis.
The fight will take place in the welterweight division, even though Smith is making the move down from middleweight and Daley has been known in the past to have trouble getting under the 171-pound threshold allowed for 170-pound fights.
Daley (25-9-2) was exiled from the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a post-fight altercation with Josh Koscheck. Daley sucker punched him after their fight at UFC 113 and was immediately terminated by UFC president Dana White.
He has since gone on to fight in Australia against Daniel Acacio and for Shark Fights against Jorge Masvidal, winning both. He then signed a six-fight contract with Strikeforce.
Starting his career off with an impressive 10-1 mark, Smith has since followed a bumpy path weaving through the WEC, the UFC, EliteXC, and now Strikeforce. His overall professional record stands at a modest 17-7, but Smith has still been a consistent draw because of his exciting, no-holding-back fighting style that, one way or another, typically results in a knockout.
A light heavyweight earlier in his career, Smith has spent most of his time recently at middleweight, although he did fight current Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz in a 180-pound catchweight bout last year.
One MMAWeekly.com source near Smith’s camp said that he had been walking around at 185 pounds as recently as two weeks ago and shouldn’t have a problem making the cut to 170 pounds.
The Dec. 4 Strikeforce card features a light heavyweight rematch a decade in the making. Former two-division Pride champion and UFC tournament winner Dan Henderson faces former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral. The two met in the finals of a Japanese tournament in early 2000, Henderson winning a decision. The rematch will take place at the Scottrade center in St. Louis.