If there's one thing I learned from Strikeforce:Nashville it was that you do NOT fuck with the Cesar Gracie crew. Of course anybody with even infantile sense knows that if you really want to get one over the Diaz brothers then challenge them to a debate on the merits of positive thinking or maybe a rousing game of checkers. I know, the Diaz brothers weren't directly at fault, I'm just saying that somebody should make a 16-bit side scrolling beat-em-up with those two as the only playable characters. I'd buy a copy of that.
I'd put most of the blame on Melendez based on what I saw because he was the dude that started shoving like he was ready to go another 25 minutes in full guard. That was the shove heard round the cage as it were, and the rest is history.
Look, Mayhem didn't belong in the cage, but neither did the other 20 or 30 people in there standing around holding their dicks. You're just asking for trouble when you have a bunch of dudes, two of which are the brothers Diaz making sure they "got their homie's back yo". Mayhem, someone who's made his career in hoarding attention, was stuck on the undercard so I can understand trying to grab some cheap heat by calling out the champ. When you factor in that Shields is probably leaving for the UFC and will not defend his belt again said cheap heat could feasibly toss him into a bout for a vacant title.
The clear loser here seems to be Mauro Ranallo however, who looked like he needed a hug and an ice cream after watching what went down. Calling what Mayhem did disgusting after he lovingly massaged Jake Shield's shoulder almost made me well up like I was watching a Lifetime movie about breast cancer. Imagine what he would have done had he been handed a microphone and a cameraman at UFC 100 after Brock smashed puny self control. For that matter how is this any different than when GSP told Matt Hughes he "wasn't impressed with his performance" other than the fact that the Diaz brothers weren't mean-mugging him from 3 feet away?
As far as the rest of the announcing team, well, what can I say that hasn't already been? This is the same team that came up with inventive, vaguely homoerotic ways to describe a rear naked choke attempt such as "He's wearing him like a backpack!". Gus Johnson was never bad, he's just never been good either. Give the dude a gameshow to host, one with fat people in it. And Shamrock? Listening to him is like sitting in a Hooters having to listen to the asshole one table over pick apart a fight in a fruitless attempt to impress the chubby girl he brought with him. The only thing "legendary" about ol' Frank will be his winning smile once those braces come off.
Is a brawl on national television bad for MMA? No, probably not, in fact nobody except people who already don't like MMA care and it's blown way out of proportion.
The shit ratings it pulled in are the bigger story, the fight is just the excuse CBS needs to pull the plug and still save face.
Would this have happened in the UFC? No probably not and I point to UFC 100 again. If they can keep Brock from tearing Mir's crew limb from limb without bringing him to and taking him from the Octagon in chains then I think they can handle a jackass trying to build some cheap interest after 2 and half hours of boring fights. Not that he would have made it into the Octagon anyway. And the Diaz brothers? Homey, they don't usually even give Nate the post fight interview anymore unless it's on PPV.
Is this shitstorm bad for Strikeforce? Yeah, probably because of the poor ratings, but I'm of the opinion that whatever happens in Strikeforce doesn't matter that much unless Fedor is involved. Nashville proved that. How many casual, mainstream fans we're watching by the time the "Brawl in Nashville Ya'll" broke out? 10, maybe 15? I'm pretty sure 95% of the people that saw this on tv as it happened instead of on Youtube the next day are people that already know who Shinya Aoki is.