As I was sitting here reading through articles about the NHL Playoffs and the NFL Draft, I decided to read over my other favorite article section, the MMA section. I haven't been here in a few days because, after Strikeforce, there really hasn't been much for me to talk about.
However, as I read through yet another article stating who the blame for the fiasco in Nashville should be placed on, an interesting thought occured to me. Maybe we should all blame Scott Coker for the incident.
I am not trying to state that my opinions are fact, or that they are even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought, but I am here to present a different view on what went down Saturday, at what was supposed to be a huge event for Strikeforce, and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a whole.
What if this brawl was the most brilliantly disguised plan of all time? Think of it this way, Scott Coker had a problem that he needed to solve, and he needed to do it fast. The problem was that he signed Dan Henderson, a huge star from the UFC and consensus #2 Middleweight in the world to come in and hopefully take the Middleweight strap off of rising star Jake Shields.
You see, it's not that a promotion should ever want to see its star fighters lose, but Jake was fighting in the last fight of his Strikeforce contract. Many were speculating that win or lose, he would make the jump to the UFC after the fight. Solution: Make Shields fight somebody he has no chance of beating.
Solution: FAIL. Everything was going as planned as Hendo nearly knocked Shields out 3 times in the first round, but somehow Shields survived. Come round #2, it was a completely different fight. Shields took Hendo down, and manhandled him on the ground in round 2.
But this success couldn't last could it? Oh, but it did. Round 3, Round 4, Round 5 Shields continued to dominate the fight, and Henderson had no chance. Come the one minute mark of Round 5, when Henderson was taken down yet again, the reality started to sink in. There would be no changing of the guard in the Middleweight Division. Shields had proven he truly was a #2 middleweight, and had thoroughly dominated one of the best Middleweights ever.
Strikeforce now had to face the horrifying possibility that one of its champs might leave the organization with the belt. The one minute mark of round 5 is also roughly when Scott Coker made his exit from the arena to get to the post-fight press conference.
Coker realized that Shields was probably on the way out, and he probably was thinking the whole time of a way to save the division. Enter Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Say Coker had this back up plan all along. Think about it.
1.) Miller is a last minute addition to the card that Shields also just so happens to be fighting on.
2.) Miller is given an opponent who he virtually has no chance of losing to, and will probably thoroughly dominate.
3.) Miller just so happens to stick around after his fight and show up cage side for the main event.
4.) Strikeforce doesn't show Mayhem's fight, but interestingly enough, they show the highlights of him beating his opponent to a pulp just as the main event is about to start.
Everything goes as planned and Miller dominates his fight, leaving the dominant performance fresh in the minds of all the people watching.
What is the best way to ensure that a fight will happen? Have one fighter run into the cage just after another fighter's victory, and have said fighter, call out other said fighter. What if Coker told Miller to challenge Shields, with the hope that it might coax Shields into signing a longer contract, and staying with Strikeforce so he could have the opportunity to beat Miller again?
In my mind that is a very distinct possibility. Coker may not have intended the huge brawl that ensued, but its very possible, that his plan was to generate interest in Shields vs. Miller 2, thus forcing Shields to stay with Strikeforce.
If this is the case, it was a brilliant strategy, but it backfired, and Shields is still probably gone from Strikeforce. But let me ask you, bleacher report community,
Was Scott Coker behind the Strikeforce brawl?
P.S.-Also, Who should Shields fight if he does go to the UFC? Silva, St. Pierre, Alves, Fitch, hell tell me Brock Lesnar if you want. Its these things that keep me up at night MMA community, and you can help me sleep.