Just got back from Nashville, here’s some quick thoughts on the event:
Mousasi looked more like a sleepwalker than the dreamcatcher tonight. Congrats to King Mo for winning a fight no one expected him to win using a smart if less than exciting wrestling gameplan, but he looked painfully one dimensional while doing it.
I dunno what was up with Shinya Aoki tonight … for the first two rounds he kept using butterfly guard when he got Gilbert Melendez on top of him instead of locking up closed guard to keep things on the ground.
Dan Henderson got the biggest pop of the evening, and Jake Shields was booed mercilessly. Moreso after it became apparent that he was going to win, and double that once people realized he was happy passing to mount and lazily fwapping Hendo in the face while the clock ticked down in each round.
The crowd exodus started at the beginning of round 5 and turned into a flood by the final minute. I’ve never seen so few people stick around to hear a main event decision – and I’d say at least half did so just to boo Shields as he was announced the winner.
Of course as you may or may not know, the few people that stuck around got to see an in-cage brawl between Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller and Cesar Gracie’s team. Lemme tell you what, after 3 boring fights that went to decision (and went 30 mins over Saturday Night Fights’ time slot), the last thing that show needed was a disgraceful situation like that. The remaining crowd really seemed to like it (finally, some action and emotion!), but the real question is what CBS execs thought. I’m thinking final nail in the coffin.
When Gus Johnson re-interviewed Jake Shields outside the cage post-rumble, they had to take the video feed off the jumbotron because people were booing Shields so much. People really really hate his guts now – not in an “I hate Triple H’s guts and can’t wait to see the Undertaker beat him” way, but an “I hate Jake Shields and never want to see another one of his fights” way.
Overall, the main card winners all came out on top because they stuck to extremely cautious gameplans that negated their opponent’s strengths. They did what they had to do to win and I guess I can’t criticize them too much for that, but it made for a dreary night of fights. That was without a doubt the worst Strikeforce card I’ve ever seen – although to be fair this is the first card of theirs since Strikeforce: Destruction in 2008 that I’ve left with an overall negative opinion of. Hopefully one bad night of fights and that retarded brawl doesn’t cost them too much.