Cesar Gracie may not have been present at “Strikeforce: Nashville” this past Sat. night, but he sure got a good look at four of his most successful students front-and-center in a post-fight brawl to end the nationally televised broadcast.
The fight, which followed Jake Shields defending his title as a heavy underdog to former PRIDE champion Dan Henderson, was caused by a hyped-up Jason “Mayhem” Miller taking a stroll into the cage to challenge the middleweight champion to a rematch. Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz, and Nick Diaz did not take kindly to the confrontation, and a poorly-timed brawl broke out for the CBS audience to take in.
Gracie weighed in on the post-fight brawl with MMAjunkie.com.
“So a fight broke out at a fight. That’s not a good thing, and I’m not condoning it,” stated Gracie. “But a lot of people are jumping on this because they’re babies. The same night, they had an NBA fight. They want to talk about a fight at an MMA fight between MMA fighters.”
But that wasn’t all Mr. Gracie had to say about the beatdown that many have labelled as “thug”. In fact, he doesn’t understand how anyone sees this as damaging.
“How would it be damaging?” questioned Gracie. “If you’re a sports fan, you’re used to seeing fights all the time. It’s really, seriously, a bunch of pussies latching onto this and trying to make it a bigger bigger deal than it is.”
In a way, Gracie has a point. After all, literally every other professional sport, from NASCAR (if you consider that a sport) to hockey, has its fair share of fights.
However, the overall point in this issue seems to be the fact that MMA is constantly trying to push its way onto the list of what the mainstream deems a legitimate sport. Perhaps this is a set back in terms of overall acceptance, but only time will tell what kind of damage this brawl has done to Strikeforce, its relationship with CBS, and the public view on mixed martial arts as a sport.