Muscle Sport Magazine

StrikeForce Brawl To Be Way Overblown in the MMA-Biased Media

Throughout the history of sports, infamous brawls have occurred that appear appalling on the outset. But you know what? The majority of them have been the variety that included professional athletes entering the stands to battle with fans. (The Boston Bruins climbing over the boards at Madison Square Garden at the ‘Malice at the Place’ are two that come to mind.)

But a scuffle during an event is fairly commonplace (it’s in the hockey rule book and the main attraction for many fans) and is usually explained by very competitive athletes losing it a bit in the heat of competition. Sweet chin music and hard fouls are merely part of their respective games.

In a sport as physical as mixed martial arts, things get heated and trash talk are part of the show. Saturday night’s StrikeForce event in Nashville was no exception. What makes this totally different than your average baseball bean brawl or pushing and shoving at a boxing press conference is because it happened during a MMA event on national television.

Jake Shields had just won his bout against Dan Henderson to improve his record to 21-4-1 and was being interviewed in the cage by CBS’ Gus Johnson, one hell of a basketball announcer but is out of his element calling MMA fights. Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who lost via decision to Shields back in November, somehow entered the cage and interrupted the live interview.

“Where’s my rematch, buddy?” Miller asked with a smile. Shields shoved him and a melee ensued. Miller’s corner men pulled him away while others went after Shields. The overhead camera clearly shows punches and kicks being thrown on a fallen Miller.


“Sometimes these things happen in MMA,” said Johnson, who was still in the crowded cage with his microphone, being heard not only over the television but also in the arena. “A lot of testosterone in the cage. Gentlemen, we’re on national television,” he futilely pleaded before announcing that they were going to step away for a commercial break.

What Johnson needed to do – and Monday morning quarterbacking is not our norm but in this case we feel the need to make an exception – was not to single out MMA. Saying that these things happen in sports would have sufficed. Even the testosterone remark can be overlooked. Hopefully the educated viewer understood what he meant and will not jump to any conclusions or accusations.

StrikeForce CEO Scott Coker reserved judgement on what action he would take until reviewing the video, although he said that he would indeed do so. “There is no place for that type of behavior in StrikeForce or any other MMA league,” said Coker, who was en route to the press conference area when the incident took place and did not witness it.


Coker also did not know why Miller (23-7), who had won an earlier fight against Tin Stout, was in the cage. “When you have the corner men that Jake has and something like that happens, you know there’s going to be an issue,” commented Coker. “I don’t know why [Miller] couldn’t have thought that out because I could have told you that prior to that. We should have kept them apart. I had no idea that he was going to do something like that but it will never happen again.”

Now we await the fallout from the mainstream media, who will undoubtedly use this incident as ammunition why MMA is ‘barbaric.’ “This is bad for the, which is still in its infancy,” Coker said. As it is, the media treats MMA as a second-class citizen and barely gives it a sniff. And having periodic network coverage result in an incident that even a member of their own announcing team mishandled will not do it any favors.

So the next time there is a fight on the basketball court or baseball diamond, listen to the reaction of the broadcast booth and see if there are any consistencies with Johnson’s rant.

Stock Photo: Esther Lin/StrikeForce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *