(Photo courtesy of HotChicksWithDouchebags.com.)
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!
SIX DEUCE GEAR
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.