Strikeforce Nashville: A Disaster for Strikeforce and MMA Alike

Daniel O'DowdContributor IApril 18, 2010

Last night, Strikeforce treated us to a distasteful spectacle live from Nashville.

Their top prospect was dislodged from his position as champion, their big-money acquisition was halted in his first fight, and to top it off, mayhem ensued when we witnessed an utterly embarrassing riot in the octagon.

Oh, and it was broadcast on national television.

To say this was a bad night for Strikeforce is an understatement; it was a disaster.

In all fairness to Strikeforce, this wasn't their fault. They put together some top fights, and on another day, the card may have been a hell of a lot more explosive.

It wasn't to be though.

All three title fights went to lopsided, unanimous decisions, and none of them were entertaining in the eyes of a casual fan (although more devout fans of the sport will have appreciated certain performances).

Very little went right for Stikeforce.

Pehraps the biggest consolation would be the performance of Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, although his performance wasn't overly impressive. He did an admirable job of taking Gegard Mousasi down time after time and keeping him down, but he didn't do a whole lot of damage from the top and never looked like finishing the fight.

Aside from the post-fight brawl at the end of the night, Strikeforce's biggest worry will undoubtedly be keeping hold of Jake Shields. Dana White is a known admirer of the middleweight champion, and Shields is rumoured to be making the jump to the UFC.

Not only has Shields halted Henderson's hype, but he also looks like he'll be leaving Strikeforce as a champion. Obviously this is something Strikeforce will be desperate to avoid since it completely devalues their middleweight division.

I've not even spoke too much about the debacle that was the post-fight brawl.

On a national stage, that post-fight brawl humiliated Strikeforce and humiliated MMA.

MMA is a growing sport which is still widely seen as barbaric. There are certainly people and news outlets alike who love nothing more than something to use against MMA and that cringeworthy brawl is undoubtedly going to be one of them.

It was distasteful and highly unnecessary.

Things like this can set a growing sport back years, and I wouldn't be surprised if that happened.

In the aftermath of UFC 112, people have often spoke about the importance of making a good first impression.

That expression really has stepped up in terms of importance since last night.

People tuning in to watch an MMA fight for the first time wouldn't have been impressed, and it's a sad fact that this was on national television.

Luckily, the early numbers suggest Strikeforce: Nashville bombed. So, perhaps it isn't the end of the world.