Smith rallies late to stop Le in Strikeforce show
Scott Smith spoiled Cung Le’s return to MMA by stopping him late at
Strikeforce’s event Saturday in San Jose, Calif..
Le was completely dominatant for the first 13 minutes of the
three-round fight, until Smith turned the tables and put away the
Le nearly finished Smith in the first round with spinning
back kicks. At one point in the first, referee “Big”
John McCarthy seemed very close to ending the contest when Le was
hammering Smith on the ground.
After a round that could have gone 10-8 to Le in the
judges’ scorecards, and a second round that was not much
better, Smith entered the third needing a stoppage win.
And that is exactly what he got when a huge punch dropped Le
shortly after the three minute mark. Smith did not hesitate and
continued to put on the pressure, bringing about a stoppage.
Earlier, Gilbert Melendez defeated Josh Thomson for the
lightweight title. Thomson started off strong, outboxing Melendez
in the first round and raising his fist to the crowd after the
However, the tide turned when Melendez managed to clearly
outclass Thomson in the second round. That was followed by another
round that went Melendez’s way. The fourth was close a struggle.
The fifth round featured some exciting exchanges, but Thomson
did not get the finish he was looking for, as Melendez walked away
with the belt after a unanimous decision.
In a middleweight matchup, Jacare Souza rolled to an easy win
over Matt Lindland.
After a successful, but short stint in the stand-up game in
the early part of the first round, the action transferred to the
floor where Jacare started throwing on the submissions.
After surviving an armbar and an omoplata, Lindland was
thrown into an arm triangle choke, causing him to tap out.
Also on the card, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal obliterated Mike
Whitehead in the first round of their heavyweight bout.
A sharp hook sent Whitehead to the mat where Lawal went to
work with highly effective ground and pound to get the win.