Photo by Jack Bratcher /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Following the CBS-televised “Strikeforce: Nashville” professional mixed martial arts event on Saturday night, April 17, 2010, at Bridgestone Arena in the heart of “Music City”, the fighters and media gathered for the customary post-fight press conference.

The post-fight press conferences are always intriguing because we get to hear the fighters explain what took place from their perspective, and we get to share in the experience of these incredible world-class athletes whether they win or lose.

We are privileged to hear the thoughts and feelings from these very rare individuals as they either are ecstatic from triumph, depressed from defeat, or exhausted from the enormously grueling combat. There are very few instances in life when we get to talk with someone who just went through some type of catastrophic activity, which is what many MMA fights end up being.

In this particular case, we got to hear from what many consider the top Japanese lightweight, who came to America for the very first time to test his special brand of grappling against one of our own best lightweights. Shinya Aoki did not succeed against Gilbert Melendez, but he came to the press conference anyway to face the music, admit when he had been bettered, and share his experience with the MMA world

We got to hear from legendary fighter Dan Henderson, a former Olympic wrestler who has added some very hard-hitting punches to his game to become one of the toughest men on the planet.

He was a heavy favorite as he took on Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields, an incredible grappler in his own right, but a  champion who many critics did not feel could compete against the best of the best. Shields proved all his naysayers wrong by dominating the former Olympic wrestler at his own game.

Finally, we got to hear from King Mo, a wrestling phenom-turned MMA fighter who faced the most dangerous opponent of his young career. Critics claimed Mo had bit off more than he could chew for this fight, and haters awaited his defeat.

Yet, that defeat never came. The unbeaten fighter who was born just outside Nashville, proved once again that wrestling is the best base to have as an MMA fighter. King Mo took Strikeforce’s champion and put him on his back time after time, wearing him down with top control and ground and pound.

It was not an easy fight for Mo, his toughest to date. His face told the story of what it took, but the new Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion showed up at the presser to answer our questions and show off his new Strikeforce championship ring he purchased before the fight, so confident he was that he would win.

Most interesting about Mo was his post-fight demeanor. There was no more need to hype or sell the fight. He had done his job and done it well. Love him or hate him, he made people want to tune in to see what happened. He was tested to the limits and passed with flying colors. Now it was time to answer a few questions, then go relax and celebrate with friends.

Enjoy the photos and stay close to for the full length “Strikeforce: Nashville” post-fight press conference video.

All photos by Jack Bratcher /                   Click on images to enlarge

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