Five events in 5 weeks; Montgomery, Birmingham, Orange Beach, Alabaster and then back home to Tuscaloosa beginning August 3 and running through September 7. Strikehard Productions is ready to turn up Amateur and Pro MMA in Alabama by bringing to Mixed Martial Arts fans – 5 events in the next 5 weeks in 5 different cities. Sound Impossible? Crazy? Unbelievable? Or just plain unachievable?
NOT if you ask Matt Leavell –Strikehard Productions President, who has this to say about the seemingly impossible feat of bringing mma fans a high quality, supremely produced event with well matched fights to a city near you in the coming weeks. In fact, according to Matt:
“A lot of people say that we are crazy for scheduling the amount of fights that we have scheduled in the next few weeks and we just might be! It is our belief that the fans of combat sports throughout the state recognize and appreciate the hard work involved and all the efforts that the Strikehard Production Team is putting into it. We have had a huge upturn of support from across the state helping us with the events. We have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded with some of the greatest team members that we could ask for. Many of our team are behind the scenes and people never even see them. All the posters getting distributed and placed in the communities, social media posts, ticket sales and the volunteers that assist at our events, these are all things that we have a huge amount of help with! We could not do it without them and we need them more than ever in the coming months. It is our belief that the fans will support the efforts of Strikehard as we continue to grow the sport of MMA in our state. We believe that they will help us by inviting their friends to the events and by promoting the events to ensure that we have the turnouts needed to succeed. We always try to encourage people to bring a friend to the fight that has never had the opportunity to experience a live MMA event before. If we can get just a few people doing this consistently, then people would be surprised by how fast the sport will grow!”
MMA is already the fastest growing sport in the world, with world class organizations like the UFC putting on sold out events around the globe. That being said, Strikehard has been conducting business throughout the state of Alabama since March 2008 and after the sanctioning of combat sports by the Alabama Athletic Commission began in January 2012, SHP has been working diligently to help increase awareness and understanding of the sport. Why go to this much trouble and hard work you might ask? The SHP President explained:
“Our answer is simple, the fans are here and they want fights. No one else has been able to remain in business for an extended period of time to deliver these events to fans. Our September 7th event in Tuscaloosa will be our 30th show! Can you believe that! It seems like just a few months ago, we were buying the cage to get started. SHP is passionate about growing the sport statewide. We have a fight schedule put together for 2014 that we will unveil soon that will definitely be covering the entire state. We have used 2013 to enter into some new markets to introduce fight fans to SHP. We have also used it to develop new relationships with people that are looking to help at all levels as we position the Strikehard Productions’ brand to grow MMA throughout the state. Basically the craziness in 2013 is all based upon our goals and plans we have in place for 2014. We have had to test ourselves and our team to find the weaknesses aka the breaking points. We had to know where our potential short comings were and how to make the necessary changes prior to having our whole business plan riding on those decisions. I like to think of it like this— steel gains its strength through a process called forging. That forging is the process of heating it up so hot that you would think it would be breaking it down, but instead it reacts in the direct opposite. When it cools down, it is stronger than it ever was before. That is what we have been doing in 2013. We have been using this time to find the energy drainers, and/or the potential pitfalls, in order to put together the team that we could count on every single time! We have learned a lot and plan on learning a HUGE AMOUNT over the next several weeks! It is all a part of growing; individually, as a company, and as a team. As I said, we have a great team of people surrounding Strikehard. They do the work because they love MMA and they love the sport. They want to see it grow in a positive way and put their trust and faith with people whom they feel can help make this possible. We have been extremely honored that these people have chosen us to be the organization that they would like to help support. It is an emotional thing to know that people respect what you are doing at such a level that they will actually jump in and help you do it themselves and invest THEIR time as well.”
That being said how does an organization get prepared for such a monumental undertaking like 5 events, 5 weeks, 5 cities? Says Leavell:
“We have been working for several weeks getting prepared for these fights as well as our grappling tournament and feel like we are well prepared for the challenge. We have been blessed with some AMAZING fight cards coming together for the next 4 fights and an encouraging amount of support for our August 24th grappling tournament. What many people do not realize is that our grappling tournament needs the strong support as well. We had a great turnout of approximately 160 competitors at our very first tournament on Mothers Day weekend. We are hoping and planning on having 200-250 competitors at this event and our event is for all ages from kids, to preteens, teens and on to adults. I would like to ask everyone to help reach out to any grapplers that they know to help ensure that we get the word out about the grappling tournament.”
As far as the plans that Strikehard has in place for 2014 – Matt wants to emphasize that no matter what part of the state you are from, be it North, South, East, or West it is important to come together for a common goal. Leavell states:
“Lets build a community where there never has been one. This doesn’t mean that we hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it does mean that we all recognize that we are in this battle together. The “battle” is the growing of a sport that has been traditionally labeled as “human cock fighting”. Where that in the not so distant past, you could get arrested for simply attending an event. We are all ambassadors of the sport in our every day actions and the general public base their opinions of the sport on each and every action or reaction made by a fan. We have an opportunity to change the public misperception of a sport that traditionally was so edgy that most leaders in the community would not want to be associated with it. I challenge everyone to become an educational resource as well as a positive influence for the sport amongst your close friends. If one of them has never been to an event, get them to come. If they come, get them to post on social media how they liked it or what their thoughts on the event were. Simply encourage them to share their experience with others. Tell people about the events. This sport is in such a fragile position in the state at this time, that promoters who put on a professional event struggle with just being able to make ends meet. We all, as a community, have an opportunity to be part of a greater team than just the 10 guys you roll or spar with during training every night; to look back in the future and say, “I was part of that growth. I helped to make it happen.”
Matt challenges each and every person with the following “Strikehard is doing its best to follow through on this vision. Are you?”
Since Strikehard is 100% dedicated and committed to doing their part, you can do yours by making plans to attend the shows and sharing event information about the shows on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Google+.
Be sure and mark your calender for the dates and cities listed below:
SHP 27 August 3rd- Montgomery – Multiplex at Cramton Bowl
SHP 28 August 10th- Birmingham – Zamora Shrine Temple
SHP 29 August 17th- Orange Beach-Orange Beach Conference Center
August 24th- Grappling Tournament 2 – Alabaster, Alabama
SHP 30 September 7th- Tuscaloosa – Bobby Miller Center
Additional event information can always be found at www.strikehardproductions.com or on the company’s Facebook page.
To purchase your tickets click the link http://strikehard27.eventbrite.com/ or simply call the Strikehard office in Tuscaloosa @ 205.861.4273.
You will not want to miss these shows. See you at THE FIGHTS!!!