Dana White can sleep easy this week. UFC rival promotion Strikeforce had its biggest card this past Saturday and it aired on Network Television powerhouse CBS. The fact that the Strikeforce organization had secured a deal with a major TV network was considered in MMA circles as a huge coup. CBS has the ability spread the STRIKFORCE brand and MMA in general to a massive audience.
But in order to capitalize , Strikeforce had to deliver a top-notch product. The card this past Saturday night did not deliver. In fact all three bouts (which were all title fights) were down right boring. Even with the marquee name of Dan Henderson headlining the card , it was just not an exciting evening of MMA. Dan Henderson was a heavy favorite over Middleweight title holder Jake Sheilds, but Sheilds dominated a grappling contest that was certainly not going to inspire any new mma fans. In fact all three fights went the 5 round distance and other than an impressive performance by “KING MO” in the light heavyweight division, it was all pretty dull.
The highlight of the evening was probably a moment that Strikeforce and CBS would rather forget. After Jake Sheilds was announced the victor over Dan Henderson and the post fight in cage interview started, Jason “Mayhem” Miller ( potential next opponent for Shields) entered the ring, interrupted the interview with Sheilds and a brawl ensued with all of Shields Team Gracie teammates . This looked a lot more like the WWE and did nothing to further the sport of MMA. Not a good look for Strikeforce.
Mixed Martial Arts has a had a tough month so far, first the UFC Anderson Silva debacle in Abu Dhabi and then this. But one thing is clear, Strikeforce is still a second tier promotion, network deal or not. Lets hope they do better next time.
But MMA is not finished in the month of April, this weekend the WEC has a huge card and its first foray into Pay Per View with ALDO vs Faber for the WEC featherweight title. I am not sure I can afford another PPV this month, but something tells me I just might have to get it.