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Strikeforce Live Blog: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Scott Smith Updates

StrikeforceTarec SaffiedineScott Smith

, a welterweight bout on tonight's Strikeforce on Showtime card from the Sears Centre just outside of Chicago.

Dan HendersonTyron WoodleyPaul Daley

for his second straight loss.

The live blog is below.

Although he's on a skid, the fans still love Smith.

Round 1: Saffiedine circles to his right around a stalking Smith to avoid Smith's left hand. Saffiedine throws a straight left followed by a big uppercut. Saffiedine grabs the Muay Thai clinch with Smith's back against the cage. Saffiedine hits Smith with knees to the thigh and punches to the body. Saffiedine misses a head kick. Smith throws a leg kick and Saffiedine connects with one in return. Saffiedine continues to circle to his right and then when he circles left, quickly tries to clinch. Saffiedine glances a high kick. Saffiedine uses the Muay Thai clinch again for short shots. This time the referee separates them with just over a minute remaining in the round. Smith lands a hard inside leg kick that stumbles Saffiedine. Smith tries to capitalize off that, but Saffiedine avoids damage. Saffiedine throws a beautiful spinning back kick to remind Smith of his battles with Cung Le. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Round 2: Saffiedine lands an inside leg kick and Smith presses with powerful jabs. Saffiedine is the much more crisper kickboxer, or striker for the matter. Saffiedine rocks Smith with punches and then flies in with a jumping knee that Smith catches. Saffiedine is picking Smith apart with jabs. They clinch with 2:53 and Saffiedine uses the position to land several punishing right elbows. Saffiedine catches Smith with a high kick and follows with punches as Smith falls to his knees for a desperate takedown. Saffiedine controls a turtled Smith until he is able to climbed on Smith's back with both hooks. Saffiedine slides off and they're back to their feet with a minute remaining. Saffiedine lands some more clean punchces followed by a headkick. 10-8 Saffiedine.

Round 3: Saffiedine stays active, popping out multiple jabs and switching stances to confuse Smith. Saffiedine unloads on Smith against the fence, but Smith does a decent job this time covering up. Saffiedine slows down the pace, fighting patiently. Saffiedine lands a straight left and then throws a spinning back kick that pushes Smith against the cage. Saffiedine lands more kicks. Smith chases with a Superman punch and for his warrior spirit, hears the cheers from the crowd. Smith, who has blood dripping down his face, is looking for the necessary finish. Smith comes up empty on a high kick that ends up slamming against the fence. Saffiedine throws another head kick. Smith chases, but Saffiedine steps away in the final seconds. 10-9 Saffiedine. As a nice show of respect, Saffiedine raises Smith's hand after the bell sounds.

This was a fight between two very different strikers. Saffiedine threw crisp punches and kicks, a variety of combinations while posing the threat of a Muay Thai clinch. Meanwhile, Smith was flat-footed and didn't have much to offer outside of his hands.

Saffiedine wins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

"That was the most difficult fight I have ever been in and Scott is a very tough guy," Saffiedine said. "I knew he was going to be durable coming into the fight. I'm happy with my performance and I tried very hard for the finish but came up a little short."

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