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Inside the Hexagon

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Strikeforce was one of the preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions in the world from 2006 until it folded in 2013. The promotion gave a platform to some of the greatest fighters in the world, while also helping launch women's MMA as a force in the sport. Journey with us as we go through the major events and moments in Strikeforce history!

Strikeforce was one of the preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions in the world from 2006 until it folded in 2013. The promotion gave a platform to some of the greatest fighters in the world, while also helping launch women's MMA as a force in the sport. Journey with us as we go through the major events and moments in Strikeforce history!


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Strikeforce was one of the preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions in the world from 2006 until it folded in 2013. The promotion gave a platform to some of the greatest fighters in the world, while also helping launch women's MMA as a force in the sport. Journey with us as we go through the major events and moments in Strikeforce history!




Final episode: "Inside the Hexagon" says goodbye and rides off into the sunset...

This is the final episode if "Inside the Hexagon," and, unlike Strikeforce, we're going out with a bang! Phil and Josh tick through the biggest highlights in the promotion's run, including selling out the Shark Tank with over 18K fans, Cung Le breaking Frank Shamrock's arm to take the middleweight belt and win "The Battle of San Jose," Fedor's only Strikeforce win, Robbie Lawler getting "Ruthless" against Melvin Manhoef, and so much more! In addition, several special guests drop by to share...


Strikeforce/UFC/Bellator vet Ryan Couture on entering MMA as the son of "The Natural," fighting on the final Strikeforce card, and what he learned from his win over K.J. Noons

It's our next-to-last episode, and we're closing out our fighter interviews with an intriguing chat with former Strikeforce competitor and current Xtreme Couture CEO Ryan Couture! Ryan talks about what it was like getting into MMA as the son of UFC legend Randy "The Natural" Couture, competing inside the hexagon, and fighting on the final Strikeforce card. We dive deep into Ryan's split-decision win over K.J. Noons, including his strategy coming into it, as well as the lessons he learned...


"Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" - January 13, 2013...the curtain closes on Strikeforce

It's the end of Strikeforce! On this week's episode, we cover the final promotional event, as a card rumored to contain four title fights gets whittled down to one, as Nate "The Great" Marquardt closes things out with the welterweight title on the line against Tarec Saffiedine. We also see Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett in glorified mismatches with unheralded opponents, as well as Jacare Souza and Gegard Mousasi proving they were more than ready for the UFC's big stage. Tim Kennedy, Roger...


"Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" - August 18, 2012...Rousey proves she's Strikeforce's biggest star

Ronda Rousey gets "Rowdy" for the final time in Strikeforce on this week's episode, proving to Dana White and the MMA world once and for all that women should get their shot inside the Octagon! We also see Jacare close out his Strikeforce career with a bang, and OSP turns out the lights on a true MMA journeyman. We're getting close to the end of "Inside the Hexagon"...don't miss this deep dive into all things "Rousey vs. Kaufman"! All our links can be found here:...


Nate "The Great" Marquardt, former Strikeforce welterweight champ, on his vicious KO of Tyron Woodley that won him the belt, and more

On this week's episode, the penultimate Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nate "The Great" Marquardt, joins Phil to discuss making his 170-lb. debut inside the hexagon against Tyron Woodley. Nate talks about moving down in weight, returning to the cage after over a year away, his strategy for Woodley, and what set up that memorable knockout. The former champ also delves into what winning the belt meant to him, how he actually pulled his punch on that final uppercut, and what brought him...


"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" - July 14, 2012...can Luke Rockhold get gritty and defend his title against decorated military hero Tim Kennedy? Who will be Strikeforce's new welterweight kingpin?

It's GI Joe vs. the surfer dude as Tim Kennedy takes Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold to deep waters on this week's episode! In addition, former UFC middleweight title challenger Nate "The Great" Marquardt makes his Strikeforce and 170-lb. debut in a battle with rising star Tyron Woodley for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight crown. We also see an absolute bloodbath between Roger Gracie and "The Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine, and Robbie Lawler looks to get "Ruthless" with the...


Who won the 3rd fight? Former Strikeforce lightweight champions Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson come together to discuss their trilogy, what it meant to them, and whether we'll ever see them collide again!

In what may be the best episode in the history of this podcast, Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson join Phil to dive in deep on their unforgettable trilogy of fights, breaking down their mindset fight by fight, and the two legends argue over who won their final bout! We discuss what went into the preparation for each fight and what they each learned, plus, Gil and Josh even lob a question or two at one another. And "El Nino" has a special surprise for his friend and gets a big...


"Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier" - May 19, 2012...Daniel Cormier shocks the MMA world and captures the heavyweight grand prix title in a true "Rocky" moment!

Daniel Cormier is remembered today as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, but back in 2012, he was still a relative unknown upstart looking to make his mark. However, after dispatching viable heavyweight contenders in Jeff Monson and "Bigfoot" Silva, DC was beginning to build momentum. Standing in his way to stardom was former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, who most expected to defeat the upstart. It didn't quite go his way, and we break it all down. Plus, lightweight...


"Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" - March 3, 2012...Ronda Rousey arrives! The judo queen stakes her claim as an MMA superstar and forces the powers at be to pay attention!

It's time for "Tate vs. Rousey," as the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title is on the line in the first high profile women's MMA grudge match! "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey faces Miesha Tate for the belt in the main event, and these two ladies are ready to prove to the other and the world that they are the best at 135 lbs. In addition, Josh Thomson is looking to secure that title trilogy with lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez, while Jacare wants back into title contention. And, finally, is this...


The King is here! Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Mo Lawal discusses his run inside the hexagon, his love of pro wrestling, and more!

King Mo joins Phil on this week's episode, and it's a slobberknocker of a chat, as we dive into Mo's formative years in amateur wrestling, how he almost went into pro wrestling rather than MMA, and so much more! Mo delves into winning the Strikeforce title, the ref being too late at stopping his thrashing of Lorenz Larkin, fighting Cro Cop, and what he's up to today (hint: coaching and pro wrestling). It's a great and share! All our links can be found here:...


"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" - January 7, 2012...Luke Rockhold proves he'd legit while King Mo destroys both his opponent and his reputation

Happy MLK Day! Phil is down (with COVID) but not out, as he and Josh get the band back together to discuss..."Rockhold vs. Jardine"! On the card, Robbie Lawler gets "Ruthless" once again, while Tyron Woodley stakes his claim to a shot at vacant welterweight gold. Meanwhile, King Mo does damage to both his opponent and his credibility, while Luke Rockhold shuts up some of the naysayers with a solid win over a quality opponent in his first defense of his middleweight crown. It's a shorter...


"Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" - December 17, 2011...Gilbert Melendez proves he's one of the best in the world, while Cris Cyborg falls from grace

On this week's episode, we delve into "Melendez vs. Masvidal"! This is a momentous time for Strikeforce, as the promotion renews its deal with Showtime, but also loses a marquee weight class and is forced to reduce its number of events. Despite all the questions surrounding the promotion, there are still fights to feature, and we've got some good ones on this card, including Gegard Mousasi vs. OSP, KJ Noons vs. Billy Evangelista, Cris Cyborg vs. Hiroko Yamanaka, and "El Nino" Gilbert...


Merry Christmas! On this week's episode, we break down the 12 of Christmas, Strikeforce-style!

Christmas is now in our rear-view mirror, and we hope you got all you wanted this year! For our latest episode, Phil & Josh break down the 12 gifts Strikeforce gave us during the promotion's run, including the resurgence of Frank Shamrock, the introduction of Cung Le, Ronda Rousey, and others, as well as some of the craziest moments in MMA history. So, sit down, grab some eggnog, get that fire blazing, and enjoy! All our links can be found here:


"Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov" - September 10, 2011...Daniel Cormier punches Bigfoot and his ticket to the grand prix finals, announcing his arrival in the process!

DC shows he's a force to be reckoned with on this week's episode! We see the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix come to fruition as Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett advance, and both do it in style. In addition, we have a new Strikeforce middleweight champion in Luke Rockhold, and King Mo rebounds from his title loss to knock a Gracie off his perch. This is a fun one...don't miss it! All our links can be found here: Download and...


Two former MMA writers delve into what it was like to cover MMA during Strikeforce's heyday, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate, Scott Coker, what's wrong with MMA journalism today, and more!

We're changing things up a bit this week, as Josh steps in for Phil (who's on vacation) and chats with good friend and well-respected former MMA journalist Erik Fontanez! Formerly with Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, and Gracie Mag, while mostly being known for his time with MMA Weekly, Fontanez saw it all during his time in MMA. On this episode, Josh and Erik dive into MMA journalism, Strikeforce, women's MMA, Ronda Rousey's feud with Miesha Tate, Scott Coker, and more. It's an intriguing...


Who were the best female fighters in Strikeforce history? Is it Ronda Rousey or Cris Cyborg at the top of the list? Where does Miesha Tate?

This week, Josh and I are breaking down the top five female fighters in Strikeforce history! While there isn't a sizable list of fighters that competed in the women's divisions, the ones that did tended to make a big impact...not just on the promotion at that time, but on the future of the sport. Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey...we break them all down, chatting through their accomplishments and impact both in and out of the cage. Finally, we battle over...


"Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" - July 30, 2011...the Fedor era ends for Strikeforce as "The Last Emperor" leaves it all inside the hexagon

It's truly the end of an era as Fedor competes for the final time under the Strikeforce banner, facing Dan Henderson in a highly-anticipated iteration of USA vs. Russia. The bout ends in controversy, leaving questions that were never answered. In addition, Miesha Tate tastes Strikeforce gold, Tim Kennedy out-strategizes Robby Lawler, and we have a couple new contenders for the now-vacant welterweight title. Lots to get to on this packed episode! All our links can be found here:...


The biggest moments in Strikeforce history*...Shamrock, Diaz, Cung, Carano, Cyborg, and so much more

On this week's episode, we're running through the biggest moments in Strikeforce far. As of this episode, we're in June of 2011...what are the biggest moments that have taken place? We have Shamrock-Gracie, Shamrock-Baroni, Shamrock-Le, Shamrock-Diaz (seeing a trend yet?), Melendez-Thomson, Carano-Cyborg, Fedor, Hendo, and so much more. We run through them all! All our links can be found here: Download and subscribe, and connect...


"Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" - June 18, 2011...the heavyweight grand prix continues as DC makes a statement!

On this week's episode it's the 2nd leg of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, as we see some big men look to brutalize each other! "The Gravedigger" looks to neutralize "The Python," Daniel Cormier takes a big step up in competition against a former UFC heavyweight title challenger, "Gamebred" tangles with "King Karl," "The Babyfaced Assassin" looks to down "The Grim," and "The Demolition Man" seeks revenge against the Fedor killer. Lots of interesting tidbits to get to...check it out!...


"Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley" - April 9,'s the end of an era as Zuffa buys Strikeforce!

The MMA landscape is forever altered as the news is revealed that Strikeforce has been acquired by Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC! But, hey, we've still got a fight to put on, and Nick Diaz will lay his welterweight title on the line against feared British slugger Paul "Semtex" Daley. In addition, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert returns to battle Japanese superstar Tatsuya Kawajiri, while Gegard Mousasi is also back to take on "The Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine. We also get an...