Saturday, June 5, 2010

Proposed Punishments Excesive Following Strikeforce: Nashville Brawl

By MMA Blaster

The Tennessee Athletic Commission is still investigating the post fight brawl that occurred on April 17, 2010 after the Strikeforce main event in Nashville, Tennessee. Following current Jake Shields’ defense of his belt, which saw him pull off an upset against former Pride champ Dan Henderson, fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller broke up the post-fight interview, getting on the microphone and asking for a rematch.

What ensued next was Shields pushing Miller, then Shields training partners Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz jumping into the fray, throwing wild kicks and punches. By the time the action stopped, it looked like every staff member from Strikeforce was breaking the brawl up. As per usual, announcer Gus Johnson was yapping like a crazy person to the television audience.

The rumored punishments for the brawl participants stands at a nine month suspension with a $20,000 fine ranging to a three month suspension with a $5,000 fine. These punishments are overly excessive. Fighters Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez and Nick and Nate Diaz were caught in the heat of the moment and regret their actions. But what damage was actually done? Everyone was healthy afterward and apologized for what occurred.

Mayhem Miller acted inappropriately for interrupting the champion mid sentence after he had just started his post fight interview. Obviously, the Cesar Gracie trained Shields, Melendez and Diaz brothers reaction was over the top. But, Miller should have known that type of reaction would follow if he got in the cage at that time. Likewise, Strikeforce employees should not have allowed Miller into the cage.

While I would agree with a thirty day suspension and $5,000 fine, hampering the fighters ability to earn a living for potentially nine months is overly excessive. I have seen worst displays in boxing weigh-ins and press conferences. Look up the Hopkins vs. Wright, Khan vs. Malignaggi or Mayorga vs. Vargas brawls on for examples.

Recently, Paul Daley sucker punched Josh Koscheck following the bell at UFC 113. While Daley was released from the UFC following the incident, the athletic commission has not issued a fine or suspension.

Why draw further attention to a minor black eye in MMA history? The casual fan and mainstream media have completely forgotten about the incident. The Tennessee Athletic Commission should give the participants of the brawl a reduced punishment and move on.

(Jason "Mayhem" Miller Pictured)

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