This morning Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, the fighter who sparked of a riot at the end of the Strikeforce: Nashville event this past weekend after asking Jake Shields for a rematch, issued a formal apology for his part in the incident.
“I would like to formally apologize to CBS, Strikeforce, and all fans of mixed martial arts for my role in the events following the Strikeforce: Nashville event. In retrospect, my timing could not have been worse to ask for my rematch with Jake Shields, and I take full responsibility for entering the cage and setting off a chain of events that cast a dark shadow on the sport. I’ve been a fighter and a fan of MMA for over 12 years, and would never do anything to intentionally tarnish the sport I’ve given my life to. In the excitement of the moment I let my emotions run high and made a bad choice that resulted in a debacle, for that, I sincerely apologize.”
Later in the day Cesar Gracie, the leader of the fight team that includes Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz, all of whom were at the center of Saturday night’s fracas, also issued a statement on behalf of his group.
“Unfortunately the after fight skirmish shifted the focus away from what was probably Jake and Gil’s biggest wins and that was very disappointing. We’re a very tight team and in all the years we’ve hung out together there has never been a team street fight or anything like that associated with us.
After reviewing the tape I think I saw alot of blame on all sides. I have spoken to my guys and with Strikeforce to make sure this never happens again.
There were people in there that had come to support our team that really should never have been in there as well. Those people that participated have been banned from future events.
I’ll be honest and tell you I think there has been somewhat of a double standard when it comes to MMA. I frequently attend hockey games and if a fight breaks out it’s routine and the fans have come to expect it. Fights happen in every sport and it’s really not a big deal but if a fight breaks out at a fight between fighters it seems like some people want to act like it’s the end of the world and pretend they are outraged.
That night in Nashville was emotionally charged and I wish cooler heads would had prevailed. I think it would be better if we fight in a professional manner and not in free for alls. For the disruption it has caused we are sorry and would like to extend an apology.”
The apologies are the first step towards laying this matter to rest, but with the news today that the Tennessee Athletic Commission have now launched an investigation into the matter, it’s by no means the last we are going to hear of the incident.