With the success of his first turn competing at a catchweight in April, Nick Diaz will take a second shot at fighting at 180 pounds, this time against heavy hitter Scott Smith, at the June 6 Strikeforce event in St. Louis.
The bout has been verbally agreed upon according to sources close to the fight, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday. Sports1140.com originally reported the bout.
"I think this is a great fight for me," said the 25-year-old Diaz in a statement issued by Strikeforce later in the day on Monday. "At the end of the day, I'm going to do what I have to do though and take him out."
"Diaz is a great fighter," acknowledged Smith in the same statement. "He's going to come in there and out grapple me and out strike me so what I have to do is go in there and beat him up. I actually think this is more of a dangerous fight for him than it is for me."
Diaz made an impressive showing for himself at the Strikeforce event in early April as he dismantled Frank Shamrock, eventually finishing off the legend in the second round of their 180-pound contest.
Now the former lightweight and welterweight will keep the extra pounds on as he returns to action to face another tough opponent in California native Smith.
The former WEC and UFC middleweight fought on the same card as Diaz where he got the best of Benji Radach in a bout that many called the best fight so far of 2009.
Smith will get little rest following the tough fight against Radach, as he now looks to get his third win in a row when he faces Diaz as a part of the promotion's continued deal with the Showtime network.
A heavyweight title bout has also been rumored for the card with Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem returning to the promotion for the first time since 2008 to face Minnesota wrecking machine Brett Rogers. The bout has not been finalized, but sources confirmed that it is in negotiations to possibly appear on the June 6 card, as well.
The main event for the June 6 show pits former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler against former EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields in a 182-pound catchweight bout.
In its statement confirming the Diaz vs. Smith fight, Strikeforce also confirmed an early MMAWeekly.com report of a matchup between UFC veterans JoeRiggs and Phil Baroni.