EliteXC Signs Scott Smith to Long-Term Deal

LOS ANGELES – A fighter responsible for perhaps the most dramatic, unlikely, snatching-victory-from-the-brink-of-defeat finishes in the history of Mixed Martial Arts, Scott Smith, has signed a long-term contract with Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live division, EliteXC.

The announcement was made today by EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Scott is definitely a standout at 185 pounds and a tremendous addition to the EliteXC and ProElite family,’’ Shaw said. “Talk about a highlight-reel fighter. All of Scott’s fights are wars and he produced one of the most spectacular finishes to a fight in any sport about a year ago.

“Highly entertaining as well as exciting, Scott has a crowd-pleasing style that will fit in very well with the rest of our 185-pounders, and any 185-pounder in the world. Hardcore MMA fans already know Smith, but newer fans are going to love him. I can’t wait to cut him loose in the cage.’’

The six-foot, 185-pound Smith, of Reno, Nev., by way of Elk Grove, Calif., is expected to make his EliteXC debut in February.

“This is obviously a great opportunity and I am grateful to EliteXC for giving it to me,’’ Smith said. “I am really looking forward to fighting for them. I want to get in contention for the title.’’

A “freestyle’’ fighter and one of the most dangerous strikers in the business, Smith is a knockout artist who comes out throwing bombs with the abandon that has made him a perennial fan favorite.

Aptly nicknamed “Hands Of Steel’’—he’s a union field foreman for his family’s steel business—his 12-4 record includes 10 victories inside the distance, including nine in the first round.

But Smith also shows a strong wrestling background and possesses terrific cardio. His two other triumphs were by submission

“The fans know I come to war, that I am a fighter,’’ Smith said. “I think they love the fact that I love to engage, that I keep punching until I knock you out. I think they can read that when they watch me in the cage.’’

A former WEC light heavy and Gladiator Challenge heavyweight champion, Smith has fought some of the biggest names in MMA, including Dave Terrell, Patrick Cote, James Irvin and Jaime Jara.

But it was slugger Smith’s incredible, crazy second-round knockout over UFC’s Pete Sell that the former cast member of the Ultimate Fighter (Season Four) may be most remembered for.

“Even though I know the ending and have watched that fight many times, I still can’t believe what I saw,” Shaw said. “It was maybe the greatest come-from-behind knockout I have ever seen, and I am talking both MMA and boxing. How he rallied with that one shot was just unbelievable.’’

The Smith-Sell slugfest on Nov. 11, 2006, was an all-out war from the outset. Smith dropped Sell in the first and had him bloodied under both eyes by the end of the round. But Smith, despite winning the session, also was cut and bleeding under the right eye.

Sell dominated the second with kicks and licks. When Sell caught Smith with a devastating left hook to the body that nearly doubled him over, the match seemed to be nearing an end. Smith appeared finished and only a punch or kick away from being stopped.

As Sell closed in to seal the deal, however, a rallying Smith, from a crouched position, leaped forward with an overhand right that caught Sell flush on the chin.

Sell went down, Smith quickly pounced and threw another right hand, and just like that what many critics call one of the most exciting, unbelievable finishes in MMA history was over—with Sell flat on his back and Smith on the ground in pain.

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