MMAJunkie is reporting that sources close to Cesar Gracie fighter Nick Diaz are indicating that a request made by Diaz to appear on Strikeforce’s June 26th promotion in San Jose, CA, has been denied due to his participation in the “Strikeforce: Nashville” post-fight melee. It appears that his fight against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, scheduled for a May 29th DREAM fight card in Japan, will still move ahead as planned; likely because the Tennessee Athletic Commission has no say in whether or not a fighter can compete overseas.
Strikeforce’s most recent show, which took place in Nashville, TN, featured three title fights between top ten fighters in the lightweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions. All of those fights, however, were overshadowed by a fracas that erupted in-cage (and on-air) during Cesar Gracie camp member and Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields’ post-fight interview. Surrounded by members of his team, (including brothers Nick and Nate Diaz and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez) Shields only had a moment to reflect on his stunning upset win over Dan Henderson before previously beaten opponent and colorful personality Jason “Mayhem” Miller entered the cage in an attempt to clamor for a rematch with Shields. His time at the mic too was cut short as Melendez and Shields pushed him away; prompting a full-on gutter brawl involving all members of the Cesar Gracie Fight Team to break out.
While the Tennessee Athletic Commission has yet to hand out any official sanctions, they are in the middle of investigating the fight and Strikeforce execs are denying action to the fighters who are expected to be reprimanded.
“No one in that was involved with that situation (in Nashville) was scheduled to fight in June,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAJunkie. “But if they were … until the Tennessee Athletic Commission has the hearing and [gives] out suspensions and fines, we’re going to wait and support [the commission].”
Jason Miller was expected to fight Robbie Lawler at the June 26th Strikeforce show but has been removed from the card and replaced by Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who will take on Lawler in a catchweight bout. It will be interesting to see if the Tennessee Athletic Commission hands out any penalties to Nate Diaz, who is currently under contract with the UFC, or Jake Shields, who is expected to join the UFC roster soon. No word yet on exactly when the official penalties will be handed down or to whom exactly they will be issued.