It’s good to have weekends like what we just had, in part just to remind you how good even stuff like Strikeforce Challengers is compared to smaller promotions. SHINE held it’s lightweight grand prix on Friday, and you’ll have to excuse the fighters for seeming a bit tentative. Where a typical MMA cage will keep you safely contained, SHINE’s ring almost seemed designed to suck you out and drop you on whatever dangerous hard surfaces happened to be nearby at the time. Most of the fighters reacted appropriately, trying to figure out the right posture to stop a takedown against the ropes without ending up headfirst on concrete.
This isn’t even all of the ring fun. Carlo Prater fell out and banged the back of his head against a table. James Warfield (seen above doing a Flying Dutchman over the top ropes) also got pushed through the ropes and punched in the head repeatedly as the referee tryed to figure out if what he was watching was legal. And there were at least two other instances i noticed where fighters ended up with one leg out of the ring.
Considering the eggs that had been laid by MMA blogs about SHINE going the Indian reservation route, I figured there’d be a little more condemnation that they used a ring that ended up being more dangerous than any of the fighters in the cage that night. But I guess on the bright side, fighters repeatedly falling out onto the floor was the most interesting thing that happened at the tournament past Drew Fickett.