The post-fight brawl that stole all the headlines following Strikeforce “Nashville” may be old news to us, but it’s still very fresh in the mind of the Tennessee Athletic Commission. They’ve yet to take any disciplinary action against the individuals involved — most notably Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t after their investigation is complete. Right now, the TAC is interested in hearing their sides of the story before deciding what kind of punishments should (or should not) be doled out.
Christopher Garrett, communications director for the Tennessee Athletic Commission, said the regulatory body mailed out letters to six individuals last week. Garrett said the recipients’ identities will not be made public by the regulatory body at this time.
Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and welterweight champion Nick Diaz are all in receipt of the complaint letters, trainer Cesar Gracie confirmed to Sherdog.com on Monday. Nate Diaz, originally reported as a licensed cornerman at the April 17 event, has not received a complaint letter to date, said Gracie. Both Gracie and the Tennessee commission confirmed on Monday that the younger Diaz brother, who fights in the UFC, was not a licensed cornerman that night.
The complaints do not sanction or present any disciplinary action, but only implicate the individuals in the brawl…Garrett said the respondents are asked to “present their side of the story” in the responses.
The TAC could address the brawl during an already-scheduled May 13 meeting, though any discussion of the incident will likely not identify the individuals under investigation, said Garrett. Garrett said the nine-member commission will have the option to set preliminary suspensions and/or fines at the meeting, though that doesn’t seem likely as the written responses might not be collected and reviewed in time.
The TAC can institute license suspensions or revocations and/or institute a fine up to $250,000 per individual, according to Tennessee statutes.
Just because they haven’t been officially suspended or fined doesn’t mean two of the fighters — specifically Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Nick Diaz — aren’t feeling the effects of a suspension already. In anticipation of the TAC suspending both fighters, Strikeforce removed from Mayhem from the Strikeforce “Los Angeles” main event and denied Diaz the opportunity to fight on their June 26 San Jose card. Meanwhile, Nate Diaz appears to have gotten off scot-free with both the commission and the UFC.
Image courtesy of Keith Mills