Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and San Shou expert Cung Le (6-1) will get the rematch he's wanted against Scott Smith (17-6) on June 26.
Smith took the 3rd round TKO victory in the first fight after spending much of the fight absorbing Le's strikes. Now, Le will be looking to try and even the score against the heavy handed slugger.
Scott Coker has yet to announce the matchup. However, after speaking with both fighters over the weekend it is inevitable that this fight will take place.
Prior to the Strikeforce on CBS event Bleacher Report had the opportunity to speak with Le about the re-match.
In speaking exclusively with Bleacher Report, Le had the following to say.
B/R: How do you feel about getting the rematch with Scott Smith and it being in your hometown?
Cung Le: I'm excited, i'm just looking forward to getting back in the cage. Last time around I came up short and i'm looking forward to going out there and giving it my best again.
B/R: How was Scott Coker is in this process of putting together the re-match with Smith? Was this a fight that could've gone either way with it being him or (Frank) Shamrock?
Cung Le: I didn't know what the fight was going to be. Scott Smith wanted a different fight and when we were on the set of NCIS I asked Frank "Who are you fighting next and he said me" but it's going to be Scott. I'm going to go in there fight this fight and then think about what's next.
B/R: Is there any certain thing you can contribute to the loss in the first fight with Scott?
Cung Le: I just got caught and I got a little too greedy in the end. I felt like I got too greedy and he finished me off.
B/R: With that being said, what kind of Cung Le can we expect to see in the re-match?
Cung Le: You can always expect a Cung Le with both guns blazing. Last time out I didn't know what to expect until I got in there but now I know what i'm capable of doing and i'm alot more confident this time around.
B/R: When we spoke previously you mentioned that you pushed back several movie projects to focus on training, how have you seen your game improve?
Cung Le: After the last fight I took a few weeks off. My stand up is definately alot sharper now and i'm working alot more on head movement. Everything I was doing before was working except for the end and my conditioning will be top notch this time. Unless, I overtrain but on Wednesday, Javier Mendez met me at the gym and I've been training non-stop so I can't even remember the last day I took off was.
But, I think my Wife snitched me out and said that I been overtraining a little bit. So, when I was getting ready and putting my wraps on Javier seen me and said what are you doing? You're just going to go do cardio and you're done for the day. I said what and he said I had a talk with your Wife and you haven't let your body rest so we don't want to overtrain. So, I said alright and I just listen to my trainer Javier.
B/R: Besides working with Javier who else have you been working with during this camp?
Cung Le: Well besides working with Javier, I have Thomas who's a San Shou champion and all my guys in my camp. As soon as Javier has his (tonsil) surgery, I'm going to go over and start wrestling with the guys. Last training camp I only did that one time a week, so for this camp I want to up it. The first time I didn't expect to do any wrestling (in the fight) and we ended up on the ground so this time around if he ties me up I'm going to be looking for the throws.
B/R: With the first fight being as exciting as it was how do you expect the re-match to play out?
Cung Le: I think it might more exciting because now Scott Smith knows what to expect and he knows that I bring alot of techniques that are different to the table. I think this time he's going to try and push the pace more and if he does that then it's going to be fireworks.
B/R: You have fans all across the world but with this being in your hometown what's the feeling like with receiving this fight in your hometown?
Cung Le: I think last time there was alot more pressure. Scott Smith is only two hours away so I'm sure he's going to pull alot of people from the Sacramento area. In a perfect world everyone cheers for you but it's not a perfect world. You have the people that cheer for you and the people that don't. That's part of the game but i think this time i have less pressure. I'm happy, what happened last time happened and as a professional fighter I don't like that feeling so this time i've upped my training and I really have that fire. I'm ready to go
B/R: It's been great speaking with you again, in closing is there anyone you would like to give thanks to?
Cung Le: I would like to thank Scott Coker for putting this fight together, Strikeforce, Showtime, Scott Smith for taking this fight sooner than he wanted to. Also, I would like to thank my newest sponsor www.cagehero.net. They stepped up and sponsored me for this fight and I really like the direction they are heading in. Thank You
Additional information on Cung Le can be found at www.cungle.com and Twitter @CungLe185