They may be new to you as a follower of BluegrassMMA and the B2 Fighting Series but the folks at Strikehard Productions are cemented in the legacy of the Alabama MMA landscape. Strikehard’s Vice President and matchmaker David Elder as well as CEO Jamie Sullivan took time to talk about the fight group and catch us up on what we need to know and how it has been working with the B2 Fighting Series so far.
It is safe to say that Strikehard Productions is the longest running promotion in Alabama. CEO Jamie Sullivan recapped the beginning and the struggles they faced to get to this point.
We started Strikehard in 2008. We started to build momentum and then the whole sport had to stop. We had about a three year break. In that time alot of the Alabama fighters and gyms had to go compete elsewhere. In 2012 we were able to resume and it was then we started rebuilding the sport.
Strikehard 53 takes place in Birmingham this weekend. It will be the first event under the B2 Fighting Series banner. I asked the pair what it was like working with the other established promotions and the company itself. Sullivan said the idea of working towards a common goal had always been a discussion they have had.
We have always had this question of how to build and promote the fighters in Alabama. One thing we have always talked about was how do we establish a clear pathway for the fighters to go on to bigger organizations. We were interested from the beginning in something like this and this wasn’t the first time we had heard of it but this time it all made sense.
The pitch to join the B2 Fighting Series came literally a day after a five hour conversation between current UFC fighter Eryk Anders and David Elder. Anders made his way to the UFC from Alabama. He made his professional debut for Strikehard Productions
Elder described how serendipitous it was that that conversation happened right before talking to B2Digital’s Chairman and CEO Greg P. Bell.
I had spent five hours talking to Eryk about how do we get our fighters in a position to get to the UFC, Bellator and the bigger companies. We then spoke with Mr. Bell and we like how it is all laid out. Everyone from the start has been there to help in anyway possible. We spoke with Chris Lytle and he is such a great person. We love the momentum that is building.
Elder spoke about his goals and what he sees are a positive thing now that they are part of a bigger group with the same focus.
You know one of the things as a collective I think we can work on is some of the rules as we go and are in multiple states with varying rule sets. At the end of the day at Strikehard know these guys have to get up and go to work or back to training on Monday. We care about the well being of the athletes and want to give them the best experience possible.
Strikehard Productions holds events in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa but also has events in Mississippi. Elder is excited about expanding the reach of his fight cards by bringing fighters in from other places. That happens on November 2nd when Indiana’s Kellen VanCamp heads to Birmingham to meet Matt Elkins in the main event.
We would like to thank David and Jamie for taking the time to get us up to speed on the fight group and we are looking forward to what they have in store. Strikehard 53 takes place this Saturday. Stay close to BluegrassMMA for more on the event.
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