Scott Smith fought at UFC 59, losing to David Terrell just a few months later found himself on TUF season 4. His run on the show was short lived, being submitted by Travis Lutter in his opening fight. He made up for that in the season finale however with a memorable victory against Pete Sell. Appearing beaten after taking a vicious body shot that had him doubled over in pain, Smith somehow found the strength of mind to throw one last punch as Sell came in for the kill, and amazingly it connected cleanly, knocking him out.
It remains one of the best knockouts in the sport, but it would prove to be his only win in the octagon as he went on to lose to Patrick Cote and Ed Herman before leaving the promotion. Before long Smith found himself signed to the EliteXC promotion, where he went on to fight Robbie Lawler for the middleweight title. Their first fight ended as a No Contest after an illegal eye poke, and in the second, which aired to millions on CBS as the main event Smith suffered a TKO loss. Smith quickly found favor with Strikeforce when EliteXC folded, and racked up two knockouts in his first two fights, one of which being another of his trademark come-from-behind victories against Benji Radach. Despite losing his next fight against Nick Diaz, Smith’s crowd-pleasing style helped earn him a new six fight deal with the promotion in 2009.
The first bout of his new contract took place at Strikeforce: Evolution in December, fighting one of the promotions marquee fighters Cung Le in the main event of the evening. After being soundly beaten in the first two rounds Smith again showed his remarkable ability to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat, producing a TKO victory in the third round and handing Le the first defeat of his MMA career.