Jason “Mayhem” Miller was penciled in to face Robbie Lawler in the Strikeforce “Los Angeles” main event. Then the brawl happened. Strikeforce believes Mayhem is going to be suspended by the Tennessee Athletic Commission for the incident, so they pulled him. Lawler will instead fight Renato “Babalu” Sobral at a 195 lbs. catchweight.
Sobral, the promotion’s former light heavyweight champion, will replace Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who was pulled from the card by the promotion in light of his participation in a post-fight brawl which occurred in the cage following Strikeforce “Nashville” on April 17 in Nashville, Tenn.
“Miller isn’t fighting because we believe, in speaking with the Tennessee Athletic Commission, that he will put under some type of suspension,” Coker told Sherdog.com on Thursday. “After reviewing the tape (of the April 17 incident), we felt that Miller shouldn’t headline our next event. We will honor the Tennessee commission’s decision when it’s announced.”
Speaking of the brawl, Dana White (always one to stir the pot with his competition) claimed Strikeforce sent Mayhem in the cage to challenge Shields when the fight didn’t go their way. Scott Coker says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“For people to say that we told (Jason) Miller to go into the cage is ridiculous,” he said. “Miller has already said that he did it on his own. We’re going to wait until the Tennessee State Athletic Commission finishes its investigation and then decide what we’re going to do. That kind of behavior is not going to happen again.
“It’s not good for the sport,” Coker added. “It’s not a good representation of what we’re about. But the same night, I watched SportsCenter and saw a fight at a basketball game. It happens in all sports. I’ve been told something like that happened at UFC 45.”
Not surprisingly, Coker had “no comment” about Jake Shields appearing on the “Aldo vs. Faber” broadcast with Dana White. He did however have something to say about Dana’s recent allegation that Showtime is running Strikeforce — a claim recently supported by female title contender Erin Toughill.
“Strikeforce is run by Scott Coker, along with our management team,” Coker said. “Ken Hershman is good for the sport. His commitment to the sport benefits everyone. The fans have more options. The fighters have more options. When fighters become free agents, they’re going to get some of them and we’re going to get some of them. But Strikeforce is run by me and our management committee.”
As long as Dana White keeps repeating it and fighters like Erin Toughill echo it, that rumor will continue to persist no matter how convincingly Coker tries to deny it. There’s no denying however that Strikeforce’s top star, Fedor Emelianenko, is run by somebody else. While Coker won’t come out and admit it, you get the sense he’s getting a little annoyed with the “ongoing” discussions with M-1 Global. He set a mid-May deadline to resolve their issues in order for the Fedor-Werdum fight to happen on the June 26 San Jose show. Coker says, “It’s been too long already.”