First of all allow me to rant. I'm embarrassed for the sport of mixed martial arts. I don't fault Strikeforce for the brawl and honestly I think it's unfair to fault Miller. Miller went in to the cage and did some "thunder stealing" yes. But when the repercussion for that became gang assualt I am not sure. Did we see Matt Hughes' boys jump Georges St. Pierre for stating that he was "not impressed by his performance?"
I entirely hope that we see the Cesar Gracie camp members involved in the attack charged with assault and forced to own up to their behavior in court. I also would like to see both Diaz brothers, Gilbert Melendez and anyone else involved with the assault suffer a massive suspension. Anything under one year would be too little in my eyes.
When you watch the video there are multiple men attacking one man for asking "when do I get my rematch." That's it, not any physical act provoking it, simply words. Then we see members of the camp stomping on a man who is engaged and held down by other fighters. This is no different from any sort of gang assault you would see on the streets, and the fact that talented fighters were involved should not lessen the actions taken against these men.
- King Mo did a very nice job of using wrestling to control Gegard Mousasi for the majority of five rounds. It was a very strange fight where Mo didn't look interested in improving position and wasn't really all that effective striking from the top, but at the same time Mousasi looked entirely uninterested in doing anything to stop the takedowns or work from his back with anything other than mildly effective punches. It certainly did not feel like I was watching a high level championship fight even though I have much respect for both men.
- Shinya Aoki is so one dimensional that it makes it hard to consider him a legitimate top ten fighter. He's earned the ranking based on results but I have trouble pinpointing fighters in the top ten that I think he could reliably beat. As soon as he was clearly going to be unable to shoot in or hold Gilbert Melendez if he pulled guard the fight was over. It was just a matter of waiting the five rounds for the scores to be announced.
- As good of a win as it was for Melendez, I will state publicly that I hope he doesn't get to fight again for quite some time for the reasons I covered above. Edit:
- Dan Henderson looked like a stiff, tired, old man against Jake Shields. He landed his big right, and it was pretty as Shields tumbled to the mat. But from the second round onward it just looked like it was going to be a KO punch from the right hand or nothing. Shields' wrestling is better than I gave it credit for being given his ability to take down Henderson with repeated success. But the real shock was how easily he was able to melt through Henderson's guard in every round. The only thing missing was a finish, but this was the most impressive championship performance by any fighter in quite some time.
- Say goodbye to the CBS days, Strikeforce. We should still be seeing more shows on Showtime, but the combination of (what should be) poor ratings and a brawl as people are turning on their local news should result in the end of the network TV days for the promotion. That is, unless they can find a way to put together some sort of mega card.
[UPDATE] - photo via nathandiaz.com
[UPDATE] #2 - Scott Coker says "there’s no room in Strikeforce for that type of behavior": (via mmafighting.com)
"Coker was not in the arena to see the brawl, having made his way to the backstage area to prepare for the post-fight press conference. He said he would take time to review the tape and reserved the right to discipline any Strikeforce fighters involved."