Josh Gross
Thursday April 22nd, 2010

@JaDaddy: You see any truth to Dana's comments re: SF betting on Hendo because they saw Shields as less valuable and headed to UFC?

• Possibly. But I don't put much stock in that.

Jake Shields is the Strikeforce middleweight champion. Despite the fact that Shields was headed to free agency, the onus was on Strikeforce to provide a credible challenger. Not only did it do that, but Dan Henderson was the best available challenger.

White's comment about Strikeforce's wanting Shields to lose doesn't bother me as much as his statement Tuesday on Jim Rome's radio program in which he speculated that Jason Miller entered the cage at the behest of Strikeforce in an effort to make it look like Shields, should he leave Strikeforce, was running from Mayhem. Absurd, especially since Shields dominated Miller last November.

More important, accusations of collusion between Strikeforce and Miller appear to be completely unfounded based on the reporting I've done and what I've seen. Miller walked in the cage on his own.

As far as whether Shields is heading to the UFC, that seems very likely.

@todda70: Does the brawl stop CBS from showing another SF card on prime time? Or it happens, shrug?

• Strikeforce and CBS have yet to discuss their future, but everything I'm hearing suggests the relationship should continue. More important than the brawl is ratings, and though the numbers for the Nashville card were softer than CBS hoped, the fights pulled enough in key demographics to serve a purpose for the network.

@Ian_Wilder: Last night was bad for SF, but does the ratings disparity prove Fedor is a mainstream draw and would move UFC PPVs?

• Yes, I think it shows people are aware of Fedor Emelianenko and his position as the best heavyweight in MMA. If Fedor is someday promoted by the UFC, his pay-per-views would do big business.

Before the Russian's fight on CBS last November, which drew a 2.5 household rating and 4.04 million average viewers, CBS ran a Showtime-produced Fight Camp: 360 on the Emelianenko-Brett Rogers matchup on about 65 percent of its affiliates. That didn't happen before the Nashville event. Whether it was a lack of promotion or lack of appeal for the fighters involved, a 29-percent rating decrease is worth nothing. Overall, 2.9 million viewers tuned in Saturday night to CBS for a 1.8 rating.

@lenn626: Good statement from Mayhem but I'm feeling like something definitely needs to come from Gracie camp? Thoughts?

Cesar Gracie offered an apology, but in doing so he downplayed what happened in Nashville, and seemed to forget the Diaz brothers' brawl in Hawaii with K.J. Noons and his family:

Unfortunately, the after-fight skirmish shifted the focus away from what was probably Jake and Gil's biggest wins and that was very disappointing. We're a very tight team and in all the years we've hung out together there has never been a team street fight or anything like that associated with us. After reviewing the tape, I think I saw a lot of blame on all sides. I have spoken to my guys and with Strikeforce to make sure this never happens again. There were people in there that had come to support our team that really should never have been in there as well. Those people that participated have been banned from future events. I'll be honest and tell you I think there has been somewhat of a double standard when it comes to MMA. I frequently attend hockey games and if a fight breaks out, it's routine and the fans have come to expect it. Fights happen in every sport and it's really not a big deal, but if a fight breaks out at a fight between fighters, it seems like some people want to act like it's the end of the world and pretend they are outraged. That night in Nashville was emotionally charged and I wish cooler heads would have prevailed. I think it would be better if we fight in a professional manner and not in free-for-alls. For the disruption it has caused, we are sorry and would like to extend an apology.

@scottslater: Why was Melendez in the ring that fast? Should only the corners and seconds be allowed in the ring post match?

• Complete failure on the part of the promoter and regulatory body. I place the vast majority of blame on Strikeforce, which must make meaningful reforms to its policies regarding access to the cage. That won't guarantee a squabble never breaks out again, but it will make it less likely. Take a page out of the UFC's book: It does this sort of thing the right way.

@Jerm_C: Think Dana does anything to Nate Diaz for his stupidity last night??? Doesn't look good for a UFC fighter involved in that...

• White said Nate Diaz wouldn't be held accountable for his participation in the scuffle.

@AKAthatoneguy: Well, we got to see Nate Diaz fight at Strikeforce while under contract with the UFC! Who'd have thought?

• With soccer kicks, no less.

@BadMoJack: Which fighter stock dropped the most? Miller, Gegard, Aoki, or Hendo

• Love this question. It has to be Aoki.

Henderson is 39 and if he walks away today would be regarded as one of MMA's very best. Miller was contrite in his apology and looks setup for a fight in June against Robbie Lawler, unless the Tennessee State Athletic Commission throws down a suspension that gets in the way. Mousasi takes a hit, but he's only 24 and can easily rebound to become one of the top fighters in MMA over the next five years.

Melendez exposed Aoki. His ranking takes a big hit, dropping him deep in the bottom half of the top 10. His promoter, Dream, and country, Japan, will be looked at in a less favorable terms regarding the quality of their mixed martial arts. It's difficult to find anything positive for Aoki, except he became a sympathetic figure in defeat.

@Alexeid: Why is the MMA media acting like the brawl is bad for the sport? Who do they think is watching?

• It's not helpful in anyway. All it did was play to the narrative detractors want to believe about MMA. That said, no one was injured and I don't see it as the kind of event that hurts the sport in the long term.

@MTFIII: In your heart of hearts, what bothered you more: Anderson Silva's performance, or the Scrap Pack CBS brawl?

• Interesting. The CBS fight was totally idiotic and unnecessary, so I'd say that. Anderson's effort was just perplexing. It's been a disappointing couple of weeks for MMA considering the fights that were on tap.

@DanPirozzi What about Strikeforce going 45+ minutes over their alloted time? Remember that was a huge issue for EliteXC

• CBS didn't seem bothered, though going over by 45 minutes ruined many a DVR recording, mine included.

@TIMinBALTIMORE: Is there any chance this stacked WEC card doesn't save [two] weeks full of boring MMA fights? So pumped for Saturday!

• Based on the style matchups and weight classes involved, I can't imagine the WEC pay-per-view falling flat.

@ez215: Is the "J" in Jose Aldo silent? I remember seeing that it wasn't. Friends don't believe me.

• Nope, not silent. Not pronounced as "H" either. The talented WEC featherweight champ's name is said with a strong "J." Tell your buddies it's Jose "With a J" Aldo.

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