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Suspensions for Brawl May Hurt UFC More Than Strikeforce

The Tennessee Athletic Commission has decided to fine and suspend five fighters -- presumably Jake Shields, Jason Mayhem Miller, Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz -- for the post-fight brawl that marred last month's Strikeforce mixed martial arts show on CBS.

But the suspensions and fines aren't particularly harsh punishments -- and are actually more likely to affect the UFC than Strikeforce.

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog reported that the commission will recommend $20,000 fines and nine-month suspensions for five individuals. It hasn't named those individuals yet, but based on their actions in the cage that night, it's likely that the fighters named above are the five who will be suspended. Those nine-month suspensions, however, will be reduced to three months if the fighters agree not to challenge them. And the $20,000 fines will be reduced to somewhere between $5,000 and $7,500. So that's not much of a punishment at all.

Let's break down what a three-month suspension would mean to each of those five fighters:

Jake Shields: His Strikeforce contract has expired and he's expected to sign with the UFC soon. His UFC debut would probably not be until some time in the fall anyway, so a three-month suspension doesn't mean much.

Mayhem Miller: He's currently taping Bully Beatdown and doesn't have a fight scheduled, so a three-month suspension doesn't mean much.

Gilbert Melendez: He doesn't have another fight scheduled, so a three-month suspension doesn't mean much.

Nick Diaz: He's fighting on Saturday in Japan and then would likely take at least three months off, so a three-month suspension doesn't mean much.

Nate Diaz: He's tentatively scheduled to fight Marcus Davis on August 28, so a three-month suspension (depending on its start date) could push his fight back.

So the only fight that appears likely to be affected by these suspensions is a UFC fight, Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis. I wonder if Dana White is still smiling.

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