Strikeforce Brawl Could Poison MMA

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

After the   tussle between members of Jake Shields camp and those representing the fiesty Jason 'Mayhem' Miller, I heard a lot of comparisons to boxing.

What happened Saturday night was more like pro wrestling...without the script.

Yeah, it's become a bit of a YouTube sensation, with hundreds of thousands of views in just a couple of days.  But is that the way MMA wants to reach the masses?

To the uninitiated, mixed martial arts is still a bit of a fringe sport.  Many people have heard of it and are curious and that's why you see CBS giving it a go.  They hear it's really not just uncontrolled violence but want to see for themselves.  That's why the nonsense Mayhem Miller inflicted on Strikeforce may have set the sport back a year or two...maybe more.

It's painfully easy for those who watched it to now dismiss it as some made-for-TV show rather than appreciate the fighters for what they can do.  Parents who see their kids take an interest in MMA memorabilia and UFC trading cards might hesitate to let them continue to collect.

There is bad blood in any contact sport, but MMA is getting a bad rap from some of the comments made by Frank Mir about 'wanting to kill' Brock Lesnar and now from this two-bit display of testosterone.

If the sport want have any shot at becoming truly mainstream, it has to continue to push the image of great athleticism and, yes, as much sportsmanship as possible.    The Strikeforce brawl is not going to push that process forward.

Some may like the nastiness and violent aspects of what happened at Strikeforce and others may blow it off as much ado about nothing, but I disagree.  It's just something else that makes it way too easy for those looking in from the outside to dismiss MMA.

And the only thing worse than having a negative vibe around your sport is to have it be ignored.

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