Man… I’m An MMA Fan …now

Are you an MMA fan?

Even though I wrestled growing up, I wasn’t really an MMA fan until I started cross training with Egan Inoue. Egan is a multi-time MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion. He now runs his own training center in Honolulu where I’ve been training for a couple years now.


I started cross training with him a couple times a week in an MMA style workout, then once a week in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. By training with him, I developed a much greater appreciation for the skill required to be high level mixed martial artist. I couldn’t believe how slow and uncoordinated I was when I was trying to punch with a series of combinations. Man they make it look easy in the UFC. The more I trained with Egan, the more I enjoyed the UFC fights because I was no longer seeing them as just two people ‘brawling’.

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When I started Athlete Originals a year ago, Egan was one of the first athletes I worked with helping him develop his Grappling Unlimited clothing line along with Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin. Alex also trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Egan, has a background in design and even drew a few of the Grappling Unlimited designs himself.


Shortly after launching the Grappling Unlimited line, I was introduced to Jessica Eye, who is currently ranked #7 by the UFC. Jessica is from Cleveland, Ohio. She launch her Straight Outta Cleveland brand last October just prior to her UFC debut.

And I just happened to be at UFC 170 in Las Vegas and you couldn’t miss the Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye fans in their Straight Outta Cleveland gear…loud and proud.


UFC 146: Dos Santos v Mir

My work with Jessica, lead to an introduction to #9 ranked UFC middle weight, CB ‘The Doberman’ Dollaway. Working with CB, we were able to come up with some solid designs that incorporated his signature Doberman logo along with one of his favorite inspirational phrases, “More powerful than even the fear of death itself, is the will to win.

ao312r-atao317k-atCB hoodie quote

CB introduced me to Daniel Sarafian from Brazil who’s now training at the Power MMA & Fitness gym owned by CB, Ryan Bader and Aaron Simpson in Gilbert, Arizona.

Daniel Sarafian action

UFC fans might remember Daniel from the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Daniel was stoked to get his white tiger designs rolling. He had a great vision for exactly what he wanted.

ao454w-atao453k-atDaniel Sarafian white tiger

And in addition to these current UFC stars, over our first year Athlete Originals started working with Jessica ‘Zombie’ Zomcik, Ashley Greenway, Isaiah Chapman, RJ Buck all of whom are aspiring to great things in MMA and are putting in the work to achieve their goals…and now a clothing line for their fans.


My work with these fighters has taken my experience as a fan for mix martial arts and the UFC to entirely new level. There’s nothing like cheering for one of these incredible warriors when you have a personal connection with them. You can see several of them in the cage over the next few weeks:

#7 Jessica Eye vs #14 Leslie Smith at UFC 180 on November 15 in Mexico

#9 CB Dollaway vs #5 Lyota Machida at UFC Fight Night 58 on December 20 in Brazil live on FoxSports1

Daniel Sarafian vs Dan Miller at UFC Fight Night 58 on December 20 in Brazil live on FoxSports1

and Jessica ‘Zombie’ Zomcik will be back in the cage on December 6th in Parma, Ohio against Allana Jones.

You can take your personal connection to each of these fighters to another level by stopping by their shops at to pick up one of their unique, original designs. Offered in styles, colors and sizes for men, women, children and infants: Shop MMA at Athlete Originals

Are you a big MMA fan too? Share this story on your Facebook or Twitter using the icons below. How did you become a fan of MMA? Who’s your favorite MMA fighter? Would be great to hear your story below in the comments section.

Do you know an MMA fighter who’s interested in creating their own clothing line? Or wish you could buy some original designs created by your favorite MMA fighter? Tell them about Athlete Originals so we can help…just have them email me to get started:

Author Description

An entrepreneur and sports businessman from Hawaii, Chris Dey created Athlete Originals, which launched in September 2013. The company embodies his professional life's purpose which is to provide platforms where athletes from around the world can be showcased and celebrated. His career in the sports industry has aligned with this purpose and allowed him to work with some of the world's best and most interesting athletes for more than 25 years.