Top 5 MMA and UFC Products You Need to Buy (Or Make Fun Of) Immediately
There is some great MMA merchandise out there. I wear my Bad Boy MMA hoodie almost every day, because it's awesome, and I am just gross enough to wear the same gear daily.
But, and this is not an exaggeration, some MMA merchandise is among the worst stuff on the planet. Reprehensibly bad. Comically bad. Amazingly bad.
Let's look at some of each!
You Can Own Blair Butler's Heart
There have been MMA movies. There have been MMA-themed novels. Now, the sport is taking the world of comics by storm.
My favorite MMA comic is Blair Butler and Kevin Mellon's Heart. Butler, who is an MMA correspondent for G4's Attack of the Show stays really true to the sport we all love. It's a pretty straight story. No super villains or crime drama. Will it continue to be kind of an ultra violent version of Love and Rockets?
"That's a great way to describe it," Butler told me. "And the short answer is, 'Yes.' I'm sure there will be plenty of comics where an MMA guy turns out to be a werewolf, or a superhero, or has to pull off a heist, but I just wanted this to be a violent little slice-of-life—something people who love and train in the sport could relate to.
"It's funny, some comic book fans who aren't familiar with the sport have read our first page—where Oren (the protagonist) is wearing a "fanged" mouth guard—and think he's a vampire because they aren't familiar with the visual language of the sport. But once they get past that first page, they figure out that no one is going to turn into a bat."
"The thing is," Butler said, "this is a love-note to Mixed Martial Arts, to all the people who follow the sports, or train in the sport, and to all the guys who work their asses off and never even make it to the big show.
"It's one man's journey through the highs and lows of a career in MMA. But it's also about that time in your life where you're trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your time on this earth. Also, it contains dudes punching each other in the face really hard."
UFC-Themed Seat Covers
Every man wants to be a tough guy. At least, every man who wants women to swoon and men to take a step backwards when he walks into the joint.
Everyone is Clint Eastwood, at least in their fantasy life. And not that pansy Eastwood from the Meryl Streep movie. I'm talking Gran Torino mixing-it-up-with-gangbangers Eastwood or vintage Dirty Harry.
Unfortunately, it's not so easy being an actual tough guy. It takes training and hard work to actually become a master of the martial arts. And who wants hard work in their lives, especially when a TapouT T-shirt makes the same statement with no gym membership required?
But what, you ask, about those moments when you aren't wearing the latest from Silver Star? Or when you aren't even around? How will miscreants know they better not even think about keying your car? It's a problem that has plagued us for years—but no more.
Roy Nelson's Anatomically Correct Round 5 Figure
Not every MMA fighter is a swaggering Adonis. While no one fights in T-shirts anymore, there are some beer bellies and love handles on display in the cage.
None are more famous than Roy Nelson's.
May we speak honestly with each other for a moment? The former TUF champion is fat. And Round 5 doesn't shy away from that. It even depicts Nelson rubbing his big belly welly.
Finally, some action figure truth in advertising.
PunchTown RIP Gear Bag
This may very well be a perfectly functional bag for your workout gear. Three issues:
1. It is shaped like a coffin.
2. RIP is short for "Rest in Perfection."
3. IT IS SHAPED LIKE A COFFIN. The tag line is: "Lay your MMA gear to rest."
Okay, that's kind of awesome. But any kind of physical activity already makes me consider dark thoughts of suicide. I don't need you planting that image in my head, PunchTown.
Best MMA Book of 2011
You may have missed it in a rush to grab up a copy of the excellent UFC Encyclopedia or (cheap plug alert) the MMA Encyclopedia. If so, that's a real shame.
Because Matthew Polly's new book Tapped Out was the best MMA book of the year.
Polly, the author of American Shaolin, is creeping toward 40 as the book begins. He knows it's his last opportunity to test himself in the cage if he wants to prove he's man enough to do it (and, as a professional author, if the advance is big enough).
What follows is a two-year journey that culminates in a real-life MMA bout.
Polly never pulls any punches. Want to know what life is like when you're training for a fight? What professional fighters think of backseat-driving fans on the Internet? What happens when a big-mouthed newcomer hits the mats with the top pros at a place like Xtreme Couture?
Polly has all the answers—and he tells his story with humor and charm.