Shields serves notice he’s for real

Published 5:50 pm Saturday, April 24, 2010

The results of last night’s WEC event were not known as of the time of this writing. There’ll be a recap of it in a later column. This week’s column will take a look back at last Saturday’s Strikeforce event on CBS and the controversy

it left in its wake.

    There are several things that Strikeforce’s second event on CBS should be remembered for.

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    The event should be remembered for the emphatic arrival of Jake Shields. MMA followers knew Shields was a great fighter. His true test came Saturday night when he faced MMA legend Dan Henderson who had just defected from the UFC.

    Resiliency is an important component of a champion and Shields displayed this in front of a national audience. Shields withstood two first round knockdowns and after regaining composure, used his skills to control the fight. He went on to dominate Henderson to retain the Strikeforce middleweight title in a five round decision.

    Strikeforce is now in a pickle. Jake Shields will be a free agent this year and the UFC is extremely interested.

    Shields is just the plum the UFC needs. He’s now a nationally recognized figure plus he can fight at both welterweight and middleweight. Fans are salivating at the prospect of Shields vs. Georges St. Pierre or Shields vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva.

    The Strikeforce event should also be remembered for a major battle in the international struggle for MMA dominance. For over a decade there’s been a rivalry between the US and Japan in the sport. The best pound-for-pound

Japanese fighter, Shinya Aoki, came to the US to battle American Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.

    Melendez punished Aoki for five rounds, sending a clear message that not only is he a top lightweight, the US is now the epicenter of worldwide MMA.

    The last thing the Strikeforce event should be remembered for is trivial, although it speaks volumes for the spirit of MMA.

    NFL great turned mixed martial artist, Herschel Walker was in attendance. At the end of round three of the Shields-Henderson bout, Henderson was defending against an armbar and was saved by the bell. The camera cut to Walker sitting ringside and his eyes said it all.

    He was completely captivated by the action to the point of being in a trance-like state. This spoke volumes of Walker’s true love of MMA and just how much the sport has to offer.

    Unfortunately, what Strikeforce’s event should be remembered for is not what it ultimately will be remembered for. It’ll be remembered for the post-fight melee that ensued.

    Strikeforce fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller snuck into the cage and interrupted Shields’ post-fight interview, asking for a rematch from a 2009 tilt between the two. Miller isn’t even close to being worthy of a rematch.

    Shields and training partner Gilbert Melendez took exception and shoved   Miller out of the way. After all, it was the most important interview of Shields’ career. The Diaz brothers, Nick and Nate, then jumped in and escalated it to a melee by striking Miller.

    There are many people at fault, but one should point at Miller as being the one to start the tumbling of the dominoes. Perhaps he’s a true attention hog.

    More than likely though Miller realizes he is a middle-of-the-road fighter who could benefit financially if he creates a standout persona. Fans will tune in to either see the flamboyant guy they love or tune in to watch someone defeat the jerk they hate.

    Sadly, Miller’s ploy may have worked which is a far cry from the true spirit of MMA.

    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed at