Saturday, February 3, 2007

Ultimate fighter ready to put on an ultimate fight

Scott Smith sounds carefree. He takes a look around Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and begins to recount his week.

The mixed martial arts fighter from Elk Grove gambled a little and bowled some. The rest of his time was spent relaxing and cutting weight, leading up to tonight's Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight bout.

Smith's cool demeanor doesn't mean he's not prepared.

"The hard work is done," said Smith, 27.

Now he's eager to show his celebrity isn't built on one highlight-reel-worthy knockout. As this moment's UFC "it" fighter, Smith (12-2) has a lot riding on the 7 p.m. pay-per-view bout when he takes on the hard-hitting Canadian Patrick Cote (9-4).

Smith, whose nickname is "Hands of Steel," gained notoriety among mixed martial arts fans for appearing on the popular Spike TV reality show "The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback."

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