It was the brawl seen around the 2.3-million-viewership world. After a win over Dan Henderson, middleweight champ Jake Shields’ camp jumped and beat on a fellow fighter – unprovoked and unwarranted. On one hand Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has an utterly embarrassing show and on the other the man has television ratings which are taking steady nose dives. In the end, the man has two hands full of unfiltered stink and not many options left as a business seeking to compete with the world’s top MMA organization (UFC).
Saturday night’s event featuring three title fights went off with many hitches of which the largest and most painfully memorable is a brawl inside the cage post-fight to unsuccessfully close out the evening’s bush league broadcast. Although the abysmal commentary of Gus Johnson was to be expected to as cringe-worthy as in past shows (and it was, oh it was), one would not have expected a rematch challenge by Jason “Mayhem” Miller to ensue a criminal assault gang-beating from the Cesar Gracie camp members during Shields’ victory interview.
The unexpected can bring surprise successes such as crowd-favorite knockout and submission finishes but in this case and in past Strikeforce events it’s only spelled misfortune. What occurred Saturday night on national television via CBS will no doubt shut down the promotion’s access to airing their fight cards outside of Showtime. That being said, it would be of little to no surprise if SHO also severs ties with Coker’s crew in the coming days. After all, Strikeforce has in many regards (particularly match-making) been floundering worse than Elite XC – the promotion which previously had agreements with Showtime and CBS before collapsing due to ethical controversy and crushing financial debts.
No-one wants to see these types of thuggish occurrences hinder the progression of Mixed Martial Arts but the reality of the situation is that such a black eye on the sport has indeed happened. The blame does not fall on anyone but Strikeforce executives and several members of the Cesar Gracie fight camp. In this case with the Strikeforce on CBS brawl we all hope for the best for our sport but Strikeforce should realistically expect the worst.