Meet Phil Lanides, the guy keeping the memory of Strikeforce alive.
Strikefroce was one of the preeminent mixed martial arts promotions from 2006 to 2013. Lanides once worked for Strikeforce and now hosts "Inside the Hexagon", a podcast series dedicated to reliving the major events and moments in Strikeforce history. Lanides lineup of guests includes former Strikeforce boss Scott Coker, former champions Frank Shamrock and Gilbert Melendez, American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez and many more. The "Inside the Hexagon" creator caught up with Fightful to dish on what the trip down memory lane means to Strikeforce alum.
"They all just have such fond memories of the promotion, how much fun it was. Coker, in our first episode, relayed to us this story," Lanides recalled. "The cage for the first event was supposed to arrive well in advance. He didn't even know how to get a cage together. He ends up getting [LFA President] Sven Bean to find a guy in Tennessee who can put together a cage. It was a week late, it was two weeks late, now it's three weeks late, now it's the week of the fight. He ends up asking a little known fighter named Donald Cerrone to go pick up the cage. 'Cowboy' gets in his truck and travels from Colorado to Tennessee to pick up the cage and drives it from Tennessee to California. I think it got there the day before or maybe two days before. Coker tells me they put up the cage and literally ziptied it together because it wasn't put together well enough. It sounds crazy now, but that's fun stuff. Those are fond memories."
For those who missed the boat, Lanides described the magic of Strikeforce.
"For me, it harkens back to Pride," he shared. "The entertainment factor is what really stands out to me and how much fun it was... To hear Mauro Ranallo with some of his signature calls, seeing guys like Cung Le. In his early fights, you can see how much talent and what a complete striker he was. To see Frank Shamrock put on incredibly entertaining performances. For me, it's worth diving back into."
"It's worth going back and taking a look and seeing some of the names, 'Woah, I had no idea Joe Riggs fought in Strikeforce. I had no idea Paul 'Semtex' Daley made his North American debut for Strikeforce.' You don't realize these things until you go back and see what kind of impact and influence the promotion had and is still having today," Lanides continued. "There are a handful of Strikeforce fighters that are still fighting at a high level in UFC and Bellator. It's entertainment, it's fun and it's legacy."