Fear the Fighter President David Makdessi Talks UFC 151, Fighter Pay, and Brand

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIISeptember 6, 2012

Fear The Fighter wasn’t a household name in the MMA clothing market prior to UFC 151, but it’s hard to find a fight fan who doesn’t know about the company now. 

You’ve already heard the narrative about how UFC 151 was cancelled due to an injury to Dan Henderson, Jon Jones refusing to fight Chael Sonnen, and a rather lackluster card caused the entire show to be canceled. By now you’ve already picked your heroes and villains in the story, but there is room for one more on the hero list.

Fear The Fighter clothing. 

The company made headlines almost immediately after the event was cancelled when FTF President David Makdessi tweeted that FTF would be paying their fighters their sponsorship money regardless of the show’s cancellation. A move that Makdessi said was made without consulting anyone. 

“I saw that UFC 151 was cancelled on Twitter and knew right away I had to help our guys,” Makdessi said. 

Helping out the fighters is exactly what got Makdessi into the world of MMA clothing. His brother, John Makdessi is a rising Canadian prospect that showed David how hard it is to be a fighter. 

“I was inspired by my brother John. I saw him training and realized the need for fighters to get good sponsors,” David said. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The struggle to acquire good sponsors is one of the main driving forces for David to make the FTF brand grow. 

“You know a lot of sponsors just work with a fighter for one or two fights. That’s not what we want to do here, we want to build relationships and make the FTF family grow,” David said. 

A family-type atmosphere is the goal for David as FTF continues to grow which shouldn’t be a problem considering the company has already big name fighters under their belt like Frankie Edgar and Jake Shields. 

But don’t think just because the sun is shining bright at FTF headquarters that breaking into the UFC was a piece of cake. 

“It’s a difficult market to get in to. but obviously I know I needed to make it in the UFC. Not only for business reasons, but also to support my brother,” David said. 

What’s going to help David help his company grow is the unique style Fear the Fighter has. Take a gander at their website and you will notice a few things. Namely you don’t see the typical skulls, dragons, foil, and other items that have become the stereotype for MMA clothing. 

It’s a move David believes in and believes will pay big dividends. 

“I didn’t want people to be afraid of the people who wear our shirts. You won’t see any skulls or anything like that on our shirts. I honestly don’t believe we are in competition with any other brands because none of them are doing what we are.” 

Keeping the shirt designs clean goes along with David’s belief of getting guys who represent the words that have come to symbolize Fear the Fighter. 

“Fighters must have strength, courage, and honor to be successful. Take Edgar for example, he’s a very respectable guy who would be great to promote our brand. He has so much heart and would be great to build the FTF family.” 

While Fear the Fighter made a big splash by coming out and supporting their guys scheduled to compete at UFC 151, David hopes he can make another splash in the world of women’s MMA. As of now the company has a few women under their brand, notably Sara McMann, but David believes the idea of helping fighters extends beyond men’s MMA. 

“Fear the Fighter believes WMMA is very important. We want to help the market grow while also supporting the fighters,” David said. 

As you can see David is a firm believer in doing everything he can to help the fighters with their financial situation. But at the end of speaking to him, David had to show some support for the fans. 

“I just want to say thanks to all the fans that supported the fighters through the UFC 151 cancellation. It was nice to see fans backing fighters over a promotion,” David said. 

With a design and marketing scheme that sets them apart from virtually every other company out there, Fear the Fighter is prepared to use their good will earned by the fans to help make the FTF family encompass a wide arrange of both fighters and fans.