Saturday, April 24, 2010

WEC 48 MADMAN ROUNDTABLE - Staff Predictions, Discussion and Madness Levels for Every Fight on the WEC PPV Debut



Welcome to the Madman Roundtable for WEC 48: ALDO VS FABER, to be held Saturday April 24, 2010 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California. The event will air live on PPV and will feature 2 title fights.

For each major MMA event, we feature a roundtable discussion of the fights, including Predictions and Madness Levels. This roundtable features madmen Brian Palmer, Randy Rowles, Johnny Nguyen, Eric Van Den Haas and Josh King. The Madman Prediction Championship, currently held by Van Den Haas, will not be defended again until UFC 113, where he'll go head-to-head with UFC 112 Madman Prediction Contest winner Eric Yeates. Brian Palmer was the winner of our last roundtable for Strikeforce: Nashville.

Madness Levels are in parenthesis. They indicate the level of excitement a staff member has for a fight based on a scale of 1 to 10. The numbers in brackets beside the fighters' names indicate how many staff members picked the respective fighters to win.
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WEC 48: ALDO VS FABER

TYLER TONER [2] vs. BRANDON VISHER [3]

Average Madness Level (1-10): 4.4

BRIAN PALMER – (6) Should be a good prospect vs prospect match up! I see a war going back and fourth! Tyler Toner by Decision

RANDY ROWLES – (5) These two were originally supposed to fight at WEC 45, but Toner was denied a license by the NSAC for poor vision. This only delayed the inevitable. Brandon Visher by Unanimous Decision

JOHNNY NGUYEN – (3) I don’t really know these fighters too much, but I’m gonna go with Brandon Visher by Decision

ERIC VAN DEN HAAS – (6) I'm looking forward to a stand-up battle between two guys with only one loss between them in 23 fights. Toner is making his WEC debut and The Viper is undefeated so...Brandon Visher by TKO in Round 2

JOSH KING – (2) Two guys I'm only vaguely familiar with, so I ran it through my super secret simulator and got Tyler Toner by TKO Round 3
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TAKEYA MIZUGAKI [2] vs. RANI YAHYA [3]

Average Madness Level (1-10): 6.8

PALMER – (5) Which Yahya will show? Rani Yahya by Submission Round 2

ROWLES – (9) Yahya is one of my favorite fighters and Mizugaki is a warrior. This should be an awesome fight! Rani Yahya by Submission in Round 3

NGUYEN – (6) I’m going with Takeya Mizugaki by 2nd Round Submission

VAN DEN HAAS – (7) Yahya is a highly-rated submissions master, but after being burned last weekend backing a fighter with a similar profile (Shinya Aoki), I'm going with the better striker to keep the fight standing and not get caught. Takeya Mizugaki by Unanimous Decision

KING – (7) Really solid fight that just shows how deep this card is. I'm gonna say Rani Yahya by Submission after a battle.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

GIF: Watch Ryan Thomas Land a 360 Drop Punch on Jacob McClintock at Bellator 15



Thanks to an Icelandic ash cloud and a 360-degree drop punch, there will be resolution after all to the awkward ending at BELLATOR 14 that saw the referee tap out for Ryan "The Tank Engine" Thomas. Ben "Funky" Askren had Thomas' neck contorted in a nasty modified anaconda choke, but Thomas had not yet tapped out before the referee intervened. Thomas was livid that the fight was stopped, but what was done, was done. Or maybe not. A not-so-simple twist of fate in the form of a volcanic eruption brought with it a shot at redemption for Thomas.

In mid-April, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted, causing mass air travel disruptions across Europe. As a result, "Judo" Jim Wallhead was not able to get a flight to the United States to participate in his quarterfinal fight with Jacob "Tick Tock" McClintock at BELLATOR 15. So instead, Ryan Thomas was given a second chance. En route to a TKO victory, Thomas landed one of the most impressive strikes you'll ever see against McClintock. As McClintock was on the canvas with Thomas standing above him, Thomas did a 360 spin around McClintock's legs and dropped down a punch to his opponent's face. Ryan Thomas' second-chance victory has advanced him to the welterweight tournament semifinals, where he'll get a much-desired rematch with Ben Askren at BELLATOR 19.

COMPLETE BELLATOR 19 FIGHT CARD

Props to MiddleEasy and Gordo1581 on the UnderGround

ASTRA -- 4/25/10 Fight Card Featuring Hidehiko Yoshida's Retirement Match


ASTRA -- April 25, 2010

Location: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan

MAIN CARD

Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-10) vs. Hidehiko Yoshida (9-7)

Micah The Maverick Miller (13-3) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (9-8)

Enson Yamato Damashi Inoue (11-8) vs. Antz Notorious Nansen (1-0)

Jung Hwan Cha (6-5) vs. Ryo Piranha Chonan (17-10)

Naoyuki Kotani (20-9) vs. Jorge Gamebred Masvidal (19-5)

Daisuke Nakamura (20-12) vs. Ganjo Tentsuku (9-4)

Che Mills (8-3) vs. Yuya Shirai (18-8)

Akihiko Mori (8-7) vs. Tatsunao Nagakura (5-0)

PRELIMINARY BOUTS

Seigo Mizuguchi (7-5) vs. Baru Seiryu Harn (0-1)

Kenji Nagai (6-10) vs. Yusuke Sakashita (6-2)

Ryosuke Komori (4-2) vs. Takumi Murata (7-11)





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FUNNY FRIDAY PIC: Josh Koscheck Paints Happy Little Trees Waiting for His UFC 113 Fight with Paul Daley



Josh "Kos" Koscheck will fight Paul "Semtex" Daley at UFC 113: MACHIDA VS SHOGUN 2 on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The welterweight co-main event will determine who coaches opposite current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 12). Afterwards, the winner will face St. Pierre for the 170-pound title.

This picture imagines Josh Koscheck as the late Bob Ross, an American painter and television host of THE JOY OF PAINTING on PBS.

COMPLETE UFC 113 FIGHT CARD

Amazing Photoshop by Dylan Hill on an UnderGround Forum thread started by Paul "Semtex" Daley.

We mean no disrespect to Josh Koscheck, a kickass fighter who always merits huge Madness Levels. Koscheck-Daley is going to be off the charts!

BELLATOR 15 RESULTS - Week 3 Sees Completion of Welterweight and Featherweight Quarterfinals

BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS 15 was held Thursday April 22, 2010 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event featured 4 tournament bouts, and saw the completion of the first rounds of the welterweight and featherweight brackets.

In welterweight quarterfinal action, Ryan "The Tank Engine" Thomas, who was eliminated from the tournament at BELLATOR 14 with a controversial technical submission stoppage against Ben Askren, was given a second chance after Jim Wallhead was unable to make the trip stateside from Europe due to the dreaded Icelandic Ash Cloud. Thomas took full advantage of his newfound opportunity, getting himself a controversial TKO win over previously unbeaten Jacob "Tick Tock" McClintock, who was in a compromising position getting striked when the fight was stopped, but immediately objected to the stoppage afterwards. Thomas' win sets up a semifinal rematch with Ben Askren, which was announced for BELLATOR 19 by Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney at the post-fight press conference. Asken responded via Twitter, thanking Rebney for the "easy" rematch and saying he will choke out Thomas again.


Ryan Thomas, at the BELLATOR 15 post-fight press conference, responded to Ben Askren's Tweets by saying:
I'm really getting a distaste for that man. He didn’t beat me the first time, he didn’t even hurt me. He's not going to hurt me this time. He’s got nothing for me and I'm going to smash his face.
In the two other welterweight tournament bouts, Steve Carl and Dan "The Handler" Hornbuckle advanced alongside Ryan Thomas. In the final featherweight fight of the quarterfinals, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire advanced over William "Leon" Romero with a heel hook submission.

BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS XV

Steve Carl (10-1) won by SD over Brett Cooper (10-6). [15:00]

Dan Hornbuckle (20-2) won by SUB over Tyler Stinson (16-6) in R1. [2:03]

Ryan Thomas (11-4) won by TKO over Jacob McClintock (6-1) in R1. [4:11]

Patricio Freire (13-0) won by SUB over William Romero (5-1) in R1. [2:01]

Dave Branch (6-0) won by SUB over Derrick Mehman (5-2) in R2. [5:26]

Ryan Quinn (3-1) won by UD over Matt Lee (11-9). [15:00]

Dan Cramer (4-1) won by UD over Dennis Olsen (9-4). [15:00]

Rich De Los Reyes (2-0) won by SUB over Brylan VanArtsdalen (0-1) in R2. [7:03]

Updated MMA win-loss records with total fight time in brackets.

UD = Unanimous | SD = Split Decision | SUB = Submission | R = Round


WELTERWEIGHT SEMIFINALISTS

Ben Askren vs. Ryan Thomas

Steve Carl vs. Dan Hornbuckle

LIGHTWEIGHT SEMIFINALISTS

Pat Curran vs. Roger Huerta

Toby Imada vs. Carey Vanier

FEATHERWEIGHT SEMIFINALISTS (Match-ups to be determined)

Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

Georgi Karakhanyan

Wilson Reis

Joe Warren

Thursday, April 22, 2010

INSANE WEC 48 PREVIEW: Betting Odds, Chances of Fighters Winning, Statistical Analysis and Predictions for Every Fight


Go into insane detail in this preview of WEC 48: ALDO VS FABER. Includes breakdowns of betting odds with analysis, win-loss records, WEC wins and losses, biggest victories, fighter profiles and backgrounds, Madness Levels and Madman Predictions for every single fight on the main card. WEC 48: ALDO VS FABER will be held Saturday April 24, 2010 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California. The main card will air live on PPV and will feature 2 title fights.

Betting lines are for entertainment purposes only and are included here to illustrate oddsmakers' projections.

Madness Levels indicate the amount of insanity inspired in anticipation of a fight on a scale of one to ten.

Striving to be the most analytically astute fight preview column possible. Let the madness begin...

UD = Unanimous | SD = Split | MD = Majority Decision | SUB = Submission | (T)KO = (Technical)Knockout
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WEC 48: ALDO VS FABER

PRELIMINARY BOUTS

Featherweight Bout

BRANDON VISHER (-285) = 71% chance of winning

TYLER TONER (+225) = 29% chance of winning

BRANDON “THE VIPER” VISHER

Brandon Visher is 13-0, undefeated with 6 wins by (T)KO and 4 wins by submission. Visher is 1-0 in the WEC, and is coming off a win over Courtney Buck at WEC 45 (12/09).

AGE: 25  HEIGHT: 5’6”  WEIGHT: 144.5

FIGHTING OUT OF: Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii (AMERICAN)

FIGHTING STYLE: Boxing

FACTS: Fought outside of Hawaii for the first time in his WEC debut

WEC W: Courtney Buck (TKO)

BIGGEST VISHER WIN: over previously undefeated Isaac De Jesus at UNU 3: VISHER VS DE JESUS (9/09)

TYLER TONER

Tyler Toner is 9-1, with 5 wins by (T)KO and 2 wins by submission. Toner’s only loss was by decision (to Scott Jorgensen). Toner will be making his WEC debut, and is coming off a decision win over Fabio “Jungle Boy” Serrao at ROF 35 (8/09).

AGE: 26  HEIGHT: 5’8”  WEIGHT: 145.5

FIGHTING OUT OF: Denver, Colorado (AMERICAN)

FACTS: Originally supposed to fight Visher at WEC 45, but was denied a license from the NSAC due to poor vision

BIGGEST TONER WIN: over Gerald Lovato by KO at ROF 23 (4/06)

MADNESS LEVEL (1-10): 5 – Thirteen wins without a loss is a serious feat in today’s highly competitive world of MMA. Brandon Visher is from Hawaii, the breeding ground for future fights, and is a seriously scary dude. I don’t know much about Tyler Toner, so I’m going with what I do know. Visher will be headhunting.

PREDICTION: Brandon Visher
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Bantamweight Bout

TAKEYA MIZUGAKI (-140) = 55% chance of winning

RANI YAHYA (+110) = 45% chance of winning

TAKEYA MIZUGAKI

Takeya Mizugaki is 12-4, with 7 wins by decision, 4 wins by (T)KO and 1 win by submission. Mizugaki has lost 3 times by decision and lost once by TKO. Mizugaki is 1-2 in the WEC, and is coming off a loss to Scott Jorgensen at WEC 45 (12/09).

AGE: 26  HEIGHT: 5’7”  WEIGHT: 134.5

FIGHTING OUT OF: Miura, Kanagawa, Japan (JAPANESE)

FIGHTING STYLE: Boxing

FACTS: Has Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Kanto Gakuin University, Currently ranked as a Contender in the Madman Bantamweight Top 10 Rankings

WEC W: Jeff Curran (SD)

WEC L: Scott Jorgensen (UD), Miguel Torres (UD)

BIGGEST MIZUGAKI WIN: over Jeff Curran by Split Decision at WEC 42 (8/09)

RANI YAHYA

Rani Yahya is 15-5, with 14 wins by submission and 1 win by decision. Yahya has lost twice by TKO, lost twice by decision and lost once by submission. Yahya is 4-2 in the WEC, and is coming off a loss to Joseph Benavidez at WEC 45 (12/09).

AGE: 25  HEIGHT: 5’6”  WEIGHT: 136

FIGHTING OUT OF: San Diego, California (BRAZILIAN)

FIGHTING STYLE: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

FACTS: Decorated ADCC grappler, Currently ranked #7 in the Madman Bantamweight Top 10 Rankings

WEC W: John Hosman (SUB), Eddie Wineland (SUB), Yoshiro Maeda (SUB), Mark Hominick (SUB)

WEC L: Joseph Benavidez (KO), Chase Beebe (UD)

BIGGEST YAHYA WIN: over Eddie Wineland by Rear-Naked Choke Submission at WEC 40 (4/09)

MADNESS LEVEL (1-10): 9 – This is a main card quality fight for me. Since both guys are coming off losses, they’ve been relegated to the undercard against each other. Rani Yahya is one of my absolute favorite fighters. He got exposed a bit in his last fight, getting knocked out cold by Joseph Benavidez, but Yahya is one of the slickest grapplers in the game. Ala Demian Maia versus Dan Miller, where Maia was coming off a similar quick KO loss to Nate Marquardt, Yahya should come into this fight looking to avoid the big mistake again. Takeya Mizugaki is a warrior. He will fight until there is no fight left, then he’ll fight some more. This one has the potential to turn into a three round battle, which will keep it off the PPV, but hopefully provide the live crowd with some early excitement on this mega-WEC fight card.

PREDICTION: Rani Yahya
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Holy Aussie, Batman! - Kurt Pellegrino Draws George Sotiropoulos for UFC 116 Lightweight Scuffle in Las Vegas


MMA Mania is reporting UFC lightweight submission specialists Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino and George Sotiropoulos will fight at UFC 116: LESNAR VS CARWIN on Independence Day weekend 2010 in Las Vegas. The two fighters are on a combined 10-fight winning streak, which means at UFC 116, we'll see one of them lose for the first time in over 2 years.

Kurt Pellegrino (15-4) has won 4 straight fights in the UFC and has a 7-3 overall UFC record. Pellegrino has taken care of Fabricio Camoes, Josh Neer, Rob Emerson and Thiago Tavares over the course of the past 2 years in the Octagon. Pellegrino's last UFC loss was in April 2008, where he got caught in a Nate Diaz triangle choke. Pellegrino's only other UFC losses have been to Joe Stevenson and Drew Fickett, back in 2007 and 2006, respectively. Pellegrino won Submission of the Night in his last fight with Fabricio Camoes. Pellegrino's current winning streak began with a decision victory over Thiago Tavares at UFC 88. Pellegrino and Tavares won Fight of the Night honors at UFC 88, and the bout was named the second best fight of 2008 by UFC fans.

George Sotiropoulos (12-2) won the UFC Fight of the Night bonus in his last fight with Joe Stevenson at UFC 110 in February 2010. Sotiropoulos, on his home turf in Australia, went into his fight with Stevenson as a significant underdog, but came out of the fight having earned a decisive unanimous decision victory over one of the UFC's top lightweight contenders. The Australian Sotiropoulos has won 6 straight fights, with 5 of them being victories in the Octagon. The only losses in Sotiropoulos' career have been a disqualification loss in Japan against Shinya Aoki, for an unintentional groin kick that saw Aoki sell it like someone had taken a shotgun to his balls, and a split decision loss early in Sotiropoulos' career to fellow Aussie, and current TUF 11 competitor, Kyle Noke. Sotiropoulos is one judge and one nutshot away from potentially being undefeated.

COMPLETE UFC 116 FIGHT CARD

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cesar Gracie Scrap Pack Rules the Land in Strikeforce - Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez All Wear Gold

The Cesar Gracie Fight Team laid the smackdown on Jason "Mayhem" Miller because they CAN. They're that damn good. Two of the three Strikeforce title holders successfully defended at STRIKEFORCE: NASHVILLE. Jake Shields, defied the betting odds, which had him as a significant underdog, and survived a 10-8 first round beating from a Hall of Fame caliber fighter in Dan Henderson. Shields arguably laid out his own 10-8 round in the second stanza, and then cruised to a decision victory from there.

Gilbert Melendez also took 5 rounds to paint his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship defense. Melendez played it safe against one of the most dangerous grapplers in the game, and earned a solid decision victory over Shinya Aoki. Originally, it was anticipated an immediate rematch would occur in Japan in DREAM for their lightweight title. Those plans appear to have changed now that Aoki has been resoundly beaten. Unlike someone like Diego Sanchez, who got completely owned by BJ Penn and immediately began to talk about wanting a rematch, Aoki comes from Japan, so he had this to say to MMA Mania:
It was a decisive defeat. I would like to state a word of appreciation for Mr. Scott Coker and DREAM staff who have worked hard to make this fight a reality. I would like to congratulate Gilbert Melendez for defending his title in our fight tonight. Though some may perceive this as a loss for Japanese MMA, my spirit is not broken and I plan on going back to Japan and putting forth prodigious effort so that I will be able to challenge for the title once again. The difference between fighting in the cage and the ring was negligible, and Melendez was just plain good. Fighting in the cage for the first time, I felt comfortable in the new setting and had a blast. I am just grateful that I got to step into the cage. Right now, I am in no position of asking for a (DREAM) rematch and I think it's best that I strive to raise the value of 'Shinya Aoki' so that Melendez can say, 'I do not mind fighting Aoki once again' on his accord. As things stand right now, I would cringe if I said, 'I want to fight him again.'
Gilbert Melendez's next best option is a match-up with former EliteXC Lightweight champ KJ Noons. Noons won the inaugural EliteXC lightweight title in a fight with Nick Diaz, due to a doctor stoppage for cuts after the first round. Diaz has since had plastic surgery on his forehead to repair the scar tissue that lead him to being easily cut. Noons is coming off a big win in Japan, and already has serious heat with the Diaz Brothers, having been part of the last big MMA post-fight brawl in EliteXC.



Nick Diaz was an officially licensed cornerman for Jake Shields at STRIKEFORCE: NASHVILLE, along with Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz. The elder Diaz is the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion. The younger, Nate, fights for the UFC. Nick Diaz is next scheduled to fight his Japanese archrival Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. The two fighters have been rumored to be fighting several times in the past, and Diaz believes Sakurai has been ducking him. Diaz will be fighting in a ring at DREAM 15. Diaz talked about his upcoming fight with Mach Sakurai, and the infamous Strikeforce: Nashville Brawl in a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani.



Jake Shields has 2 months left on his current Strikeforce contract, but has no more fighting obligations to the promotion. He holds the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, and could potentially do so as a free agent. UFC President Dana White has expressed interest in signing Shields, who has never fought inside the Octagon, despite an illustrious MMA career. White had the following to say to Kevin Iole in regards to Strikeforce putting Shields into a main event title slot without having a future contract with him:
You never should gamble on fights. They treated Shields like shit, let his contract expire, and they put all their money on Dan Henderson. Now, Shields destroys Henderson and look where they’re at. That’s not how you do business.
Re-signing with Strikeforce could mean potential match-ups with Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Cung Le, Scott Smith or Frank Shamrock. While these would all be compelling fights, the time is now for Shields to sign with the UFC. He is one of the best fighters in all of MMA who hasn't fought in the Octagon. Shields is a coach on this season's TUF 11, so his foot is in the door. Now it's time for Shields to have the Octagon cage door shut behind him. A move to the UFC would mean Shields leaving Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz behind in Strikeforce, but Shields could join Nate Diaz for the biggest show of them all.


PHOTO: Esther Lin

VIDEO: Watch UFC 113 Extended Preview - Lyoto Machida vs Shogun in Epic Rematch and Josh Koscheck vs Paul Daley



UFC 113: MACHIDA VS SHOGUN 2 will be held May 8, 2010 at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The show will be headlined by an epic rematch between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. The co-main event features a number one welterweight contender fight between Josh "Kos" Koscheck and Paul "Semtex" Daley.

COMPLETE UFC 113 FIGHT CARD

Monday, April 19, 2010

BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS 15 -- 4/22/10 Fight Card at Mohegan Sun


BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS XV -- April 22, 2010

Season 2, Week 3

Location: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut

Broadcast: Fox Sports Net

[Welterweight Quarterfinal]
Steve Carl (9-1) vs. Brett Cooper (10-5)

[Welterweight Quarterfinal]
Dan The Handler Hornbuckle (19-2) vs. Tyler Stinson (16-5)

[Welterweight Quarterfinal]
Jacob Tick Tock McClintock (6-0) vs. Ryan The Tank Engine Thomas (10-4)

[Featherweight Quarterfinal]
Patricio Pitbull Freire (12-0) vs. William Leon Romero (5-0)

PRELIMINARY BOUTS

Dave Branch (5-0) vs. Derrick Mehman (5-1)

Matt Lee (11-8) vs. Ryan Quinn (2-1)

Dan Cramer (3-1) vs. Dennis Olsen (9-3)

Rich De Los Reyes (1-0) vs. Brylan VanArtsdalen (0-0)





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Sunday, April 18, 2010

STRIKEFORCE: NASHVILLE RESULTS - CBS Hosted a Night of MMA and a Fight Broke Out Afterwards, Complete 4/17 Recap



STRIKEFORCE: NASVHILLE was held Saturday April 17, 2010 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The event aired live on CBS. All three title fights went the distance, and only the main event featured what could be considered an exciting round of action. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez both effectively neutralized their opponents strengths for the duration of their bouts, while Dan "Hendo" Henderson laid a whooping on Jake Shields for the first round of their fight, only to get totally dominated by Shields for the next four rounds. The highlight of excitement for the night actually took place after the fights were over, in an unsanctioned brawl between Jason "Mayhem" Miller and the entire Cesar Gracie fight team. Here's the soon to be infamous Strikeforce: Nashville Brawl video.

In the main event, Jake Shields proved all the naysayers wrong by taking out a legend in Dan Henderson. The conventional thought was that Shields, who came up as a welterweight, was too small for Henderson, who has fought heavyweights in Japan, and that Shields would not be able to outwrestle the former Greco-Roman Olympian. The latter part looked to be true in the first round, as Henderson knocked down Shields twice with punches. Shields barely survived the first round, but then came out for the second round as a new fighter. Once Shields finally scored a takedown on Henderson, it's like he found his rhythm, and he was able to take Henderson down at will for the remainder of the fight. Shields outworked Henderson and won decisively by unanimous decision.

Although Jake Shields remains the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, he is also now officially a free agent. His current contract with Strikeforce is up, and Shields is free to test the market. With the UFC in serious need of a contender for Georges St. Pierre, a move to the Octagon, and a move back to welterweight, just might be in store for Shields. The UFC can push the fact that Shields beat Henderson, which surely they'd love to be able to do, to pour salt into the wounds of what was a bitter parting with the fighting legend Henderson. It's high time Jake Shields is in the UFC.

In the co-main event, Jake Shields' training partner Gilbert Melendez successfully defended his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki. Melendez used his takedown defense to keep Aoki at a distance, and the Japanese fighter at a loss of what to do from there. Melendez worked over Aoki with punches and kicks for five rounds, while Aoki tried forever to find a submission opportunity to no avail. In pre-fight interviews, Aoki had went so far as to say if he lost this fight, Japanese MMA would become colonized by the United States. Well, Aoki lost. And badly. Welcome to indentured servitude, Japanese MMA. You are now officially owned by the USA.

In the opening title fight, King Mo captured the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship in only his seventh professional MMA fight. Employing a strategy similar to, but completely opposite of, Gilbert Melendez, King Mo used his takedowns to keep Gegard Mousasi on the ground, thus neutralizing his striking advantage. Mousasi was unable to stop King Mo from taking him down, and aside from some early damaging blows he delivered, Mousasi seemed listless on his back. Muhammed Lawal now officially has a crown.

VIDEO - Strikeforce: Nashville Post-Fight Brawl, Mayhem Miller vs Diaz Brothers



During Jake Shields' post-fight interview, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, being a bully, interrupted and subsequently took a beatdown, pro wrasslin' style, by the Diaz Brothers and a fat dude whose name is yet to be determined (pictured below center). First things f-cking last, I'm a HUGE fan of Nick and Nate Diaz. Sure, they're unruly gangsta-sign-throwing mushmouths, but they're also artists of their craft, two of the most innovative and analytical fighters in all of MMA. The fact that they are both also emotionally unhinged only adds to the excitement of watching the characters that the brothers have become in MMA. But ultimately there is a line, and that line was crossed at STRIKEFORCE: NASHVILLE.

Mayhem Miller, from all Strikeforce official accounts thus far, including CEO Scott Coker, went into the ring uninvited and tried to interject himself into Shields' post-fight interview. Jake Shields pushed Miller, Gilbert Melendez pushed Miller, Nick Diaz punched Miller, and Nate Diaz put the boots to Miller while he was tussling with Nick and the fat dude on the ground.

Here's the funny part -- CBS could've cut away from this melee. They did momentarily cut away when Mayhem Miller first interjected, but then they went right back, and continued to air even after things got completely out of control. It was a scene totally out of the WWE, with the announcers talking over the complete chaos going on in the ring, and Mayhem being held on the ground getting stomped by Nate Diaz and punched by Nick Diaz. CBS did finally go to break, but only after everyone was pulled apart. After a lengthy commercial break, they actually replayed the opening of the ugly incident; and in the West Coast replay, CBS kept the brawl in the telecast.

Seems CBS is going with the any-news-is-good-news philosophy, and I really think we needn't overreact in terms of this being a negative to MMA. The involved parties should be punished no doubt, but bench-clearing brawls are commonplace in baseball and referees stand back and watch fights in hockey. Fines are levied, suspensions are handed down, and the games continue. Strikeforce staying on CBS is near completely dependent on the 18-49 ratings, and in part on Fedor Emelianenko's future with the company. If the numbers are there, so will Strikeforce be on CBS.

Photo by Nate Diaz