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MMA-Game: Beyond Skulls and Wings

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It’s a problem that affects so many Americans: You want to publicly proclaim your love of MMA, but when you wear Affliction and TapouT shirts to the bar, people automatically assume you’re an unbearable douchetard. It’s unfair, is what it is. We suggest checking out the following up-and-coming MMA apparel brands — rock this stuff and you’ll feel more “ahead of the curve” than “late to the party.”

The Lowdown: Repped by a horde of West Coast fighters like Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, and Joe Stevenson, Eternal launched a year ago with the goal of bringing street fashion and hip-hop influences to the MMA apparel scene. Their website features a “Technique of the Week” section, where EU’s sponsored fighters teach everything from guard-sweeps to keylocks.
CP Approved: The King (above) and the Shark, because predators are kickass!

The Lowdown: Straight outta Ames, Iowa, Six Deuce has been putting out quirky fight-sport-themed apparel since late 2005. If you’re reading this site, you probably don’t mind a little humor mixed in with your MMA, which means the Deuce could be right up your alley.
CP Approved: The Japanophilic Fate shirt (above), as well as the Joe Rogan-friendly Rolling Stoned and the men’s room-influenced Bye Bye Head.

The Lowdown: Originally marketed to the Brazilian BJJ community, Venum has earned wider recognition as of late thanks to their association with MMA stars like Denis Kang, Jeff Monson, and Paulo Filho. They also seem to be the official distributor of Chute Boxe-branded gear.
CP Approved: The Chute Boxe Galactic zip-hoodie (above) is as killer as the Axe Murderer himself, but it’s really all about their shorts, like the cobra-print Amazonias.

The Lowdown: Top-of-the-line, handmade Muay Thai gear and apparel, available outside of Thailand for the first time. It doesn’t get any more authentic than this.
CP Approved: The awesomely alliterative Thai Tattoo Tiger (above). If you dig camo you’ll want this shirt, and this hat‘s kinda cool, too.

The Lowdown: Contract Killer is actually an offshoot of the paintball outfitter Hybrid Technologies, who wanted to bring their action-packed aesthetic and “whatever works” guiding principles to the MMA market. The shirts border on Affliction-caliber eyesore-ness at times, but the designs are more varied, combining martial arts and street art in unique ways.
CP Approved: The Ace of Spades (above), the Conflict shirt, and the FightLife hoodie.

Cagepotato Comments

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MMA Gear Guide- March 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm
Yeah some of the MMA T shirts with skulls and crosses etc. just look stupid. But more shirt companies like RVCA and more recently Form Athletics have really sporty designs that look great.
True- October 9, 2008 at 3:30 pm
Venum fight shorts look pretty nice. Also, I just saw that Eternal has a bunch of new shit out that looks sick. I have one of there older shirts and it is awsome. Much better than the pos tapout shirts and overpriced affliction shirts! Nice article
simon- October 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm
All MMA brands are cool. They pay my mortgage. :)

However the coolest of the cool brands are;

Sinister (West Coast USA)
Inspirit (Japan)
KNOXX (East Coast USA)
Bad Boy (West Coast USA)
Encounter UK (United Kingdom)
RVCA (Hawaii)

TapouT can not be defined as it is both cool and uncool at the same time. TapouT is unique.
Jay- October 8, 2008 at 5:25 pm

You are correct. There should be respect given to TapouT. They sponsor some of the best fighters in the sport. So does Affliction.

I honestly think the more people buy the gear, the better it is for industry growth. That money gets put right back into product research and allowing our favorite athletes to focus on their careers.

I did a small research of about 20 people. Yeah, very small research. Each person who had a t-shirt related to MMA was asked, "Why are you wearing that shirt?" 3 people out of the 20 were actual practitioners of a mixed martial art. The other 14 got them as a gift or they liked the design and 3 paid me no attention.

Maybe i'm wrong, but I think most of us think that Tapout/Affliction kind of ripped us our rights to bare the brands that we love without being stereotyped.
Jay- October 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm
I see a lot of intersting gear outside of your normal TapouT, Affliction, skull and daggers type stuff. Anything you can pick up at Champs or in the mall is going to be straight up LOSER gear. Although very difficult to get, I see tons of Japanese gear thats really awesome. RVDDW, Lutador, Krazy Bee, Art Junkie, Inspirit just to name a few.

Here in the States, I like Triumph United, Six Deuce, RVCA (BJ Penn stuff) and OMR, Sinister.

I know Brazil very well and normally if you are wearing Chute Boxe stuff, you are a PALHACO (clown). There are soe cool brands there like Naja, Red Nose, Rudel, WAND, Koral.

One of my favorite brands out of Canada is KimuraWear. They have some cool designs minus the skull and cross bones stuff and the quality of gear is top notch.

There are a whole bunch of new guys hitting the scene too like Graffight and Dojo Gear.

For the ladies, FightChix is probably your best bet. They constantly put up new stuff and it's quality gear.
TheONE- October 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm
First off, FUCK ALL OF YOU TAPOUT HATERS. TapouT opened doors and made room for this so called "approved" apparel. You monkeys should appreciate what those dudes have done FOR OUR SPORT. You don't have to like them dudes, you don't have to wear their clothes, but if you have any respect for the sport, and kind of RESPECT for yourself, keep your mouth shut about what you don't understand. Second, what are we gonna do about the monkeys that read this, and go buy and pose in these shirts? So lame.
Imbecile- October 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm
I have to give props to Ranger Up at

Great shirts, and totally run by current or former members of the US Military. Big sponsors of MMA and fighters like Tim Kennedy.
Gnads- October 8, 2008 at 4:24 pm
I like Mar (Josh Koscheck) & Triggonomics (Frank Trigg) also Doctrine is cool.
bob barkers sparring partner- October 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm
has anyone seen that georgia bulldogs mma shirt forrest griffin wears? where can you get that. does anyone know what company makes it?
Mandingo- October 8, 2008 at 3:31 pm
tapout and affliction have been taken to new levels of doucherey, but its also getting to the point you cant wear any mma brand without getting the jokes about it
Billy Bad Ass- October 8, 2008 at 2:51 pm
I don't know who I feel worse for...

The assholes who greenlighted this shirt or the faggot poser MMA fan who bought it...
Cage Head- October 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm
to quote:::"# shitwhistle Says:
October 8th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

I have a shirt that says “F.B.I. - Female Body Inspector” that’s pretty cool. It got me laid once. Of course, I’m only eleven."

Tko- October 8, 2008 at 1:50 pm
The Affliction style is AWESOME right now....I wish they would have just stayed in the tshirt business. However Tapout Looks mad hot on Girls....!!
Zackary Adams- October 8, 2008 at 1:10 pm
I'd reccomend Kitsura Ltd. Clothing. Great tee's, not paper thin, and look cool without the whole 'I'm trying to be MMA' vibe. The owner is active in the MMA/grappling community, and even has a design shirt for charity!
HiroNakamura- October 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm
They are all just shirts. If you like one then buy it and wear it. If you wear it and act like a tough guy then you are a tool.

I have been an MMA fan for 20plus years and unfortunately never taken up the sport but I will buy shirts or shorts from any company if i like them to help the sport continue to grow.

And i don't act like a tool when i go out with one of the shirts on, i just go out have some drinks with friends and then go home.

Some of you people take this stuff way to seriously.
Blackleg- October 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm
...and on a serious note, Sprawl gear is really nice too. Well made and fairly muted designs too - don't think I've seen anything from them of the wing-ed skull variety.
Kevbo- October 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm
If you truly love the sport and want to wear an item thats show you do is fine with me. Wearing one brand over another because CP tells you to is fucking stupid. Affliction and Tapout have done a lot for the sport just by selling the shirts let alone the other tasks of putting on shows and helping fighters. All of you haters make me sick and have no idea how to help MMA... even if you run an MMA site.
Australian MMA Fan- October 8, 2008 at 12:01 pm
I've never read anything more pathetic. Get a life, who cares what t-shirt some bloke is wearing, besides what are you doing looking at blokes anyway. Douchebags!
Earl- October 8, 2008 at 11:38 am
Personally, I prefer West Coast Chopper shirts. Maybe an OCC shirt now and then.
some guy- October 8, 2008 at 4:36 am
Full Contact Fighter stuff is made well and pretty comfortable and isn't nearly as gay as foil-looking shirts.
Scott Whitt- October 8, 2008 at 3:52 am
I have to go with Onan on this one, especially since I have a shop that sells these. The vast majority of my customers are MMA fans. The opinion of Tapout has dropped since they are in every mall store nowadays. Hostility has started releasing some nice shirts. They are of the skull variety but they run large so when it does that shrink after a ash they are good. I like American Fighter stuff. Nice designs that I don;t feel silly wearing. Honestly, unless you are rocked up with a fighters body, you should not wear an Affliction shirt.
The only non-fans usually buy Affliction but I have bills to pay so lets ring up that $40 beanie.
Jay Smith- October 8, 2008 at 3:44 am
Oh no you didn't diss the Dallas Cowboys "TheFenix". That shit hurt. Yall get deep into these comments huh. Who gives a fuck what kind of T shirt someone is wearing. FAGS!!!
Zombie Rock- October 8, 2008 at 3:15 am
Every time I see someone wearing MMA gear, aside from Affliction, which has just become mainstream dish rag clothing, I can't help thinking to myself: "Try for a take-down bitch. I don't keep this stapler in my pocket for fun."
Derekrva- October 8, 2008 at 3:00 am
That Chute Boxe hoodie is dope. I don't really wear MMA gear, but I would grab a Chute T-shirt just to keep around and see if anyone gives me a heads up.

If CP needs more t-shirts I would love to work on some for free.
Onan- October 8, 2008 at 1:38 am
So what's more douchey -a guy wearing a Tapout/Affliction T-shirt or a guy getting all worked up over another guy wearing a Tapout/Affliction T-shirt? Instead of worrying about what some other dude is wearing maybe you should concentrate on the hot girl that you're sitting with....oh, my bad.