Last night's (Sat., March 3, 2012) Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, featured all kinds of violence, mostly in the main event of the evening.
But an ugly criminal record in an undercard fighter's past, not to mention offensive tattoos, have cast a shadow over the proceedings.
The boys at Bloody Elbow did some digging on Brandon Saling, a mostly unheard of lightweight who lost to Roger Bowling in the second round on Showtime Extreme last night, and found some seriously disturbing information.
For starters, he was indicted back on Oct. 8, 2004, for engaging in unlawful sexual conduct, which is a first degree felony. Not only that, he was also indicted "in connection with an alleged rape of a person under 13."
To cap it all off, he also served a small stint in the big house for a domestic violence charge.
If it seems odd that a criminal of this magnitude would get licensed to compete, that's because it is. When the issue of the criminal past and the obviously offensive tattoo's was brought to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker's attention at the post-fight press conference, he had this to say:
"That was something that was brought up this evening. We had no knowledge of that until this evening. It came to our attention during the course of the fights. The fighter was licensed not only in this state but several other states. What I can say is Bernie from the State Athletic Commission, which we talked to before we came into this room, is going to launch a full investigation on Monday. So that's where that's at."
Coker would go on to say that it is the policy of both Strikeforce and UFC is offensive body art is not allowed. He said he had a talk with Saling but it was a private conversation and they'll let us know more after the investigation.
All told, it's clear far too many folks failed in the process of due diligence. A simple Google search would have turned up all the information in question here.
Time to get with the Internet age, huh?
As noted, Saling was defeated last night on the "Tate vs. Rousey" undercard. Read more on that right here. And stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this story as it becomes available.