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Fighter or Faker

First of all I'd like to introduce myself, my name is Geoff 'Ironchefcoach' Stratton. I am a newswriter for MMA UK and MMA Pocket, and recently i've been very lucky to be given an opportunity to put my skills to use for Fightstorepro. My background is I have trained in boxing, kung fu and BJJ for many years. I was a boxing coach and a strength and conditioning coach for Puresports, where we specialized in rehabilitation through sport. I got called Iron chef Geoff because my students said I always cooked up the most brutal workouts. I'm very excited to be putting my skills and knowledge to use here, so I hope you enjoy. I thought with my first article I'd have a bit of fun, so i thought i'd do an article on the famous MMA brand "Tapout" and I thought I’d address the stereotype of the Tapout wearing MMA fan. If your unfamiliar with the stereotype, search Tapout on the urban dictionary and it will give you a very amusing explanation which is a little too rude for me to share here. They are associated with the wannabe tough guy, or just bleed fans. A Fantastic example of this is the famous youtube video that went viral of ‘cheeseburger Josh’ ineffectively attacking a man over a cheeseburger in a less than flattering exchange whilst donning his Tapout shirt and living up to the stereotype. Now originally the way things have played out on peoples perception of the brand is not what the founders of Tapout had in mind. The original founders of Tapout (pictured) are - Charles 'Mask' Lewis (R.I.P March 11 2009) Daniel 'Punkass' Caldwell Tim 'Skyscrape' Katz The brand Tapout was completely synonymous with the UFC brand and once upon a time, was a credible brand of MMA clothing. The owners we're a very marmite bunch of characters, some people loved them, others hated them. Either way I'm sure Mask is spinning in his grave seeing how the brand has fallen from any real respect into more of a joke for wannnabe's. Charles Lewis held an mma record of 2-3 and passed away due to a high speed crash in his ferrari. Ever since then the brand has never been the same and nowadays certainly in the U.S.A is a far cry from its original roots. Now the brand is no longer synonymous with the UFC brand, and is related too in a negative light by many hardcore Mma fans. Anyway that’s the background of the stereotype around the product, and to an extent it does have some merit. Though in the U.K I find it can be slightly different to how it can be perceived in the U.S.A. MMA is still very much so a work in progress in the U.K before it becomes a fully mainstream sport, and therefore it can be very limited on what related brands you can actually physically go into a store and purchase. Now a major high street chain has taken to licensing combat sports brands such as MMA pioneer brand Tapout and possibly the worlds most famous Boxing label Everlast, selling them at very low discounted pricing. Unless you have a specific MMA store in your area, these can be one of the only places you could physically go and buy an MMA or Boxing related t-shirt/apparel or piece of equipment. Also, I find many U.K fans are not as educated on the overall MMA game, background and stereotypes associated. Of course there are the usual Tapout boys in the gym, popping steroids, not training legs, never doing cardio and training arms and chest 5 days a week and making sure everyone in the gym knows they’re there. So the point I’m trying to make here is, UK fans, don’t write every Tapout wearer off as the stereotypical goon. Don’t judge the man just because of the brand, some may be a new or more casual fan who purchased because it was the easiest available alternative to a regular sports brand. Isn’t it better than more people are taking an interest and purchasing MMA related products? One thing you will definitely find is that for t-shirts and clothing Tapout and Everlast are reasonable from a fashion point of view, but when it comes to the training equipment/gloves and so on, they do leave a lot to be desired; but I will be going into this in more detail in my next article. Moral of the story is, regardless what brand you choose, be a fighter or be yourself but what ever you do, don’t be a faker. Geoff 'Ironchefcoach' Stratton

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