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The Commentating at Strikeforce

Aside from Playboy Playmate Kendra's inability to differentiate MMA from the UFC, there were other problems with the night's commentators:

Let's get one thing straight before I go into the commentating that Strikeforce used for the event. Frank Shamrock was an absolute jerk during the event. His most significant role during the matchups was to call Josh Thomson "the first openly gay fighter". Was this promotion supposed to be taken seriously? Shamrock has been a part of the controversy for quite some time. He's had numerous spats with his brother Ken. According to the broadcast, he has a huge problem with Josh Thomson. Further research revealed that in a few interviews, Thomson revealed that he would fight Shamrock. He said he would love the chance to shut him up over a few videos Shamrock made that he uploaded to YouTube. The videos apparently included comments made by Shamrock about Phil Baroni and Josh Thomson and called out both fighters. Shamrock fought Baroni and beat him, but has yet to accept any other fights. One of the things many fighters criticize Shamrock for is that he likes to say he will fight anyone, but he rarely accepts fights when they are on the table. Many fighters hate the fact that he talks a game, but never backs it up. Thomson also stated that Frank has a huge problem with the American Kickboxing Academy as well. Apparently, Frank has a problem with a lot more people than that, but we will refrain from going further into it. It's a lot of empirical proof that Shamrock is hated by a lot of fighters in the industry.

All of that brings me to my next point. If you are going to have someone like Frank Shamrock commentate, tell him to leave his ego at the door or better yet, don't have him commentate. There were so many fighters on the card that he had a dislike for, it seems unreasonable to have him commentate. Strikeforce could have easily used Glazer and Trigg, who were both there, or brought it Mauro Ranallo, Stephen Quadros, the list goes on. Guys who have proven that they are professional when commentating MMA events. A bad decision by the Strikeforce management.

In fairness to Shamrock, he was uncharacteristically bad during Saturday's broadcast. I've heard him perform the job very well in the past and find him to be a very capable commentator when he chooses to do so.

That being said, he was incredibly unprofessional on Saturday night. Using the commentating booth to exacerbate existing personal disputes is the height of immaturity and boorishness. I don't care that he called Thomson gay per se. In fact, I wouldn't have cared if he made some sort of veiled reference to his personal dispute. But to use the rampant homophobia prevalent within the MMA community as a slight during what is seemingly a breakthrough moment for the sport and the organization Shamrock is ostensibly trying to build is outrageous.

By contrast, compare how Tito Ortiz handled himself during his stint as guest commentator when Ken Shamrock fought Kimo at UFC 48. Rather than attack his rival, Ortiz called the fight very fairly/intelligently and even complimented his foe's skills after his successful knockout victory.

The truth is Shamrock could've simply done his job during the Strikeforce broadcast and also gone back to YouTube to slam Thomson (or whoever). He could've kept his dispute alive while also fulfilling the obligations of his role as commentator. More work is required to segregate the two, but that's Shamrock cross to bear, not the fan's.

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