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By: Shawn Ennis, MMATorch Senior Columnist
Let me just start this off with a personal example. I work in the medical field. In my line of work, it's all about control. Control of our products, control of documents, control of materials. We've got to know where everything is, how it got there, whether it's good to go somewhere else, and who's had their hands on it. Control is king. The same can be said for any business, and that goes double for a live television production.
So I ask you this: how does what happened last night after Jake Shields dominated Dan Henderson take place? How does Jason Miller get into the cage and walk right up to Shields and Gus Johnson? Why are there so many people in that cage?
And it's not like this is the first time we've seen this. After each one of Strikeforce's fights, the cage turns into a scene from the end of a Rocky movie. People come pouring in. Entourages, teams, family members, suits, officials, and apparently anyone else who gets a mind. And this is before the decision is even announced. It's ridiculous. Remember Scott Smith's comeback knockout win over Cung Le? The first person I remember seeing in the cage after the finish was Smith's wife. She got to him before the cutman did.
Who is letting these people into the fighting area? If there's any semblance of control at a Strikeforce event, what happened tonight never would have gone down. Fighters don't just get to call someone out at their own behest. If you want to call out the Champ after a title defense, you're to be invited to do so. Miller ought to be pretty embarrassed – he beats a nobody in a prelim in his first fight since being spanked by Shields, then has the nerve to interrupt his post-fight interview after the biggest win of his career? And nobody stops him?
Let me backtrack just a bit here. I realize Miller was in the corner of Dan Henderson tonight, and each fighter's corner usually enters the cage after a fight. Fine. But after the result is announced, unless you're asked to stay for a post-fight interview, the losing fighter and his corner leave the premises.
Look at any UFC card. After the fight ends, here's who comes in: Bruce Buffer, Dana White, Joe Silva, Joe Rogan, a few officials, and each fighter's cornermen. And most of those people leave when the result is announced. Can you imagine someone coming into the cage uninvited and making a scene? Yeah, me neither. And say what you want, but it's because the UFC has control of its product. Dana White and company are in charge and everyone knows it. That's not a bad thing. It's necessary.
As for my thoughts on the rest of the card last night, my knee-jerk reaction is that it was an unmitigated disaster for Strikeforce and CBS both. Sure, the fights shook up the rankings, but who really cares about that outside of those who put together rankings? (For the record, I hate rankings because they don't mean anything unless a promotion uses them to determine matchups.)
There were three boring fights on this card that all went to a five-round decision. I know there are those who will flame me for saying that, but look: I appreciate the technical aspects of MMA as much as anyone. I know what's going on when the fight hits the floor. I appreciate the gameplans of each of the winning fighters tonight.
But you know what? Even as a hardcore MMA guy who has watched about 180 fights so far this year, I fell asleep during each fight after the third round, then had to rewind when I woke up. And if that happened to me, just imagine a casual fan that was flipping through the channels and found some fights. There was nothing here to hold anyone's attention for more than a few minutes, and the fact that the card went over its allotted time by about 45 minutes (control again) didn't help anything either.
RELATED STORY: STRIKEFORCE ON CBS RESULTS: Dan Henderson gets dominated by Jake Shields, loses in Strikeforce debut: [CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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