As most of you know, this past Saturday on CBS Strikeforce put on a great card offering over 11,000 fans at the Sears Center and the 5.46 millions at home, the chance to be part of a great MMA event that was not under the puppet strings of Dana White. To White’s dismay, Strikeforce’s M-1 Global’s CBS broadcast out-rated ABC’s regionalized prime-time college football with men 18-34 years old and essentially game the rest of college football and run for their money.
Whether you are a hard core fan and watched the under card write ups online as they happened to see how several Midwestern fighters made out, fans at home and at the arena found out how DeRay Davis and Mark Miller, scheduled to fight right before the live card at 8pm, were canceled as they were forming their game face.
Both fighters who trained hard and counted on this event to help their professional careers were devastated by this last minute cancel that was blamed on lack of time. Needless to say, both fighters brought in a lot of ticket sales and their fan bases that were eager to be live viewers of the Fedor fight, but highly motivated by their friends (Miller and Davis). Davis and MIller clearly understand the privilege to be associated with such a monumental MMA event for Chicago, but being canceled on your way to the cage not only leaves you feeling emotionally robbed, but professionally and financially sabotaged.
I covered the event and gave my write-ups on Saturday for those who like to read my stuff, but I actually sat fidgety trying to figure out how, what and why the MIller and Davis fight could not just be squeezed in, whether it was before the live event when time could of permitted (despite CBS ‘s last minute need for 20 minutes for production prep), or after as the ticket holders raced to their cars hoping to beat traffic. Certainly I gave my disapproval on Saturday’s article when I realized the arena was cleared and neither fighter was walking down towards the cage. My phone lit up with texts, because in all honesty I was very biased about the unfairness that was dealt to Davis and Miller. Mark, is a friend and colleague. Certainly I felt bad for Davis as well, but I watched Mark train daily and witnessed his enthusiasm and positive tactical efforts to use this fight as a spring board for more to come in the cage.
Miller was informed about his fight re-location to the post Fedor slot as he was warming up and ready to go out for his fight at around the 7:15 -7:45pm time period (when he was originally slated). Despite the major change of plans, both fighters waited. They hung out and then warmed up again as the Fedor fight ensued with hopes of having closure to their fight night. Then of course it didn’t happen after the Fedor win.
Miller says, “Of course I was disappointed… a lot of hard work and times goes into preparing for a fight, but for me to get pissed off or scream and yell, it doesn’t do anything…It was just a long day…I talked to Bob Cook and Scott Coker and they apologized to me and they said they’re going to give me another chance on a card to fight because of what happened.”
Although both fighters were given their “show” money, which is nothing by the way compared to the acculimutive win, bonus and sponsorship money, Miller seemed to feel worse about the fans (some wanted their money back after the event ended). Miller posted an apology on Facebook the next morning. Of course the countless comments following were more than supportive and carried no fault towards Miller – they offered funny quips and anecdotes to lift Miller’s spirits. Miller’s spirits were lifted about 3 days after the fight when he received a call from Strikeforce telling him that they would also give him the win money. Naturally this was also given to DeRay Davis. Strikeforce really stepped up and did the right thing for both fighters considering they could not take back the decision they made this past Saturday night. Miller by the way was offered a fight in Behrain on December 10th and there are rumors that he may get on Strikeforce’s card in January of 2010.
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Andrei Arlovksi, Chicago Fighters, Chicago MMA, Mark Miller, martial arts, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, self defense, Strikeforce, UFC
Chicago MMA, Fedor Emelianenko, Fedor in Chicago, mark miller, mma news, Strikeforce