The Mess That Is Strikeforce -- They Have Time to Campaign for Medical Marijuana but Can't Complete Basic Paperwork

Photo by Esther Lin via Showtime Sports/Strikeforce.

Here's this from Cage Side Seats:

From Dave Meltzer in today's F4WOnline.com update:

Frank Shamrock, Mauro Ranallo, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields will appear on 6/26 at the Grand Opening of the MedMar Healing Center in San Jose, which is a community based Cannabis and alternative health care facility in the city.  Shamrock said he supports cannibas to relieve pain after seeing his stepfather pass away slowly from lung cancer and be in so much pain, and feeling helpless to do anything.

While we've all heard athletes and other celebrities speak out in favor of both medical marijuana and general legalization of the drug, I don't think I've ever seen any of them do anything quite like this.  While medical marijuana is a separate issue from straight-up legalization and abuse, it still seems strange to see Strike Force's announcers and two of its champions making this appearance.  This is especially so given how many MMA fighters have failed drug tests in California, to the point where it's been a running joke at times.

It's far from the most politically sound thing for Strikeforce to be associated with, as in spite of what California says, marijuana is still illegal under federal law.  I doubt that Dana White has a problem with Joe Rogan being vocally in favor of the legalization of the drug, but do you think he'd allow him, Mike Goldberg, Shogun, and Frankie Edgar to make an appearance at a place that sold the stuff?  I don't think so, and regardless of one's political views on the matter, I don't think it's wise for Scott Coker to let this happen.

 So that's what 2/3 of Strikeforce's announcing team and 1/2 of their champions are busy doing. That wouldn't be so bad, but check this alarming news from Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer radio show (by way of Fight Opinion):

DAVE MELTZER: "I guess (Nick) Diaz is suspended."

BRYAN ALVAREZ: "I did not hear that."

DAVE MELTZER: "Yes, 90 days from, here's the deal... Diaz is suspended 90 days from the time that he returns a form to Tennessee which will then count the suspension from that point."

BRYAN ALVAREZ: "So he better get on that."

DAVE MELTZER: "And they're like scared that he's going to like never return the form so he'll be like suspended forever."

BRYAN ALVAREZ: "That's possible, actually. Very possible."

DAVE MELTZER: "So they're trying to make sure that he fills out that form and gets the clock ticking on that suspension so he can, because I was asking like when he's going to defend the title and it's like, you know, he's got 90 days suspension right now, you know that he's got to go through before he can fight anyone."

Nick Diaz is more than just the Strikeforce welterweight champion. He's easily their most skilled and marketable fighter not named Fedor. But Diaz is more than just a lightening rod for fan eyeballs, he also attracts an unusual amount of attention from the state officials who regulate the sport. 

He's had to miss fights before because of his refusal to take drug tests in California. Will he impose an indefinite suspension on himself by failing to complete the paperwork and submit it to the Tennessee authorities? 

Time will tell, but there's nothing about the Showtime/Strikeforce operation that gives me any confidence they can bring their welterweight champion to heel so he can fight again in a timely manner.

Then there's the matter of moving their August Showtime event from Houston to another city, via Fight Opinion:

Also up in the air is whether or not the August show will stay in Houston. The proposed building for the Houston show is the big-sized Toyota Center. If Strikeforce has to move that show to another city or another building, how are they going to gain traction in such a short time frame? Think about it this way - when UFC announced that ticket sales in Salt Lake City were in the crapper, they promptly booked a date in San Diego at the SD Sports Arena. Josh Gross can call the building a dump, but the building did host a WEC show with Urijah Faber and it did fairly well business-wise for Zuffa. Who do you have more confidence in as far as moving a show to a new city and new building and getting the job done - UFC or Showtime/Strikeforce? Obviously, UFC.

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