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‘Irritated’ and ‘skeptical’

How many times does it mention that Scott Smith is not impressed with having to rematch Cung Le in this one Sherdog article?

Still, that’s just what fans will at Strikeforce/M-1 Global’s “Fedor vs. Werdum” on June 26 in San Jose, Calif., and while Smith wasn’t initially enthused about fighting Le again, he said he’s now excited for the rematch.

“At first, I was kind of irritated that Strikeforce wanted to do an immediate rematch,” said Smith. “I feel like if I’d beaten (Le) up for two-plus rounds before getting knocked out, I wouldn’t have gotten the immediate rematch Cung has. It’s not like this was a title fight where an immediate rematch is a clause in the contract or something like that.

“But now I want to prove that I wasn’t just lucky to be able to come back and knock him out,” continued Smith. “I was irritated when Strikeforce first suggested this fight, but now I’m excited even though it’s a high-risk, low-reward fight. If I go out and beat Cung up, then maybe he wasn’t the MMA fighter people thought he’d be. But if he beats me, then I lost to a fighter I just beat.”

Smith’s manager, Mike Roberts, is skeptical of a Smith-Le rematch as well, but said the rematch should be just as exciting for fans as the first fight.

“I just don’t think there’s a lot for Scott to gain from fighting Cung Le again,” said Roberts. “If he loses, then you obviously have to turn around and have a third fight, but if he wins, he’s just beaten the same guy two times in a row. What does Scott gain from another win over Cung Le? The only reason to have this rematch is that it’s a great fight that fans want to watch.”

If Le were to win June 26, Roberts said a third fight between the two is almost a certainty.

“I told Strikeforce when we accepted this fight that if Scott were to lose, there was going to be a third fight,” said Roberts. “I don’t think Scott’s going to lose this fight, but if it were to happen, there’d have to be a rubber match.”

No thank you. Fortunately, Smith doesn’t have the leverage to demand another match like Le does.

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