Scott Coker on Brawl: “When You Have Cornermen Like Jake Shields Has …”

Written by Tom Ngo
April 19th, 2010

While the impromptu brawl was breaking out at the conclusion of “Strikeforce: Nashville” on Saturday, CEO Scott Coker was busy backstage preparing to boast about the company’s monumental night.

Unfortunately for the frontman, he was forced to rearrange his notes quite a bit.

“There’s no room in Strikeforce for that type of behavior,” Coker said of the incident. “I will not condone and reward that type of behavior. If you’re a fighter fighting at the highest level, and you’re fighting on CBS, you’re fighting on Showtime, you’re fighting for Strikeforce – or any other mixed martial arts league – there’s no room for that type of behavior.

“This is not something that we’ll support or reward in the future.”

After dominating veteran Dan Henderson for a unanimous decision victory to retain his middleweight crown, Jake Shields took the mic to address the Bridgestone Arena crowd, however wasn’t able to get too far with his celebratory speech.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller, the man Shields defeated for the open 185-pound title in November, lived up to his nickname by jumping in and stealing the champ’s spotlight by asking for a rematch.

Shields and his entourage, which included Strikeforce champs Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz, didn’t take too kindly to Miller’s antics and it was officially on.

Unlike the rest of us, Coker missed all the action as he was with the media getting ready for the post-fight press conference. The soft-spoken promoter claimed to have had no idea how “Mayhem” got into the cage following the main event, but stated the riot wasn’t a total surprise considering who Shields rolls with.

“I didn’t see it,” Coker said. “I don’t know how [Miller] got in there. But when you have the cornermen that Jake has, and something like that happens, you know there’s going to be an issue. I don’t know why he couldn’t have thought that out because I could have told you that prior to them (brawling) that we should have kept them apart.

“I had no idea that [Miller] was going to do that. I can say this, no one from my staff brought him there.”

Melendez had just finished taking a unanimous decision victory of his own moments before his teammate entered the ring. It was the first time he had been involved in anything like this, however that isn’t the case for Diaz.

Nick, as well as his brother, Nate, participated in a similar scrum with KJ Noons following an EliteXC event in June 2008.

Coker said he would wait to watch the brawl on replay before handing down any disciplinary action, although stated the Tennessee Athletic Commission will decide Nate Diaz’s fate because he competes for the UFC.

“I’m going to look at the video and see what happened,” Coker added. “I don’t have enough information right now, but it’s not good for our sport. Our sport is in its infant stages. It’s a great sport. These guys are amazing athletes.

“It was an amazing night. I think it was a milestone with Gilbert’s fight with the DREAM champion and the Strikeforce champion. For something like that, to try and steal the limelight from a great fighter like Jake Shields, who really imposed his will and his style of fighting on Dan Henderson, I think it’s unnecessary.”

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