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Tough Talk: Q&A with MMADogma

MMADogma.com has built a reputation for feeding fight fans with a steady dose of no holds barred Mixed Martial Arts related news on a regular basis. Since sponsoring UFC fighters Aaron “A-Train” Simpson and Paul “Semtex” Daley at recent UFC events, MMADogma has released a new line of MMA clothing that goes against the grain. What’s the inspiration behind the collection? We sit down with MMADogma founder Mike Milia to find out.

FXF: Tell us a bit about MMAdogma and what your plans are for conquering the Mixed Martial Arts world.

MMADogma: MMADogma wants to be known first and foremost as a respected source of news and information for the MMA community.  Additionally, MMADogma is expanding its apparel line and sponsoring fighters.  Most companies are either information sources or apparel companies.  We want to become the first company that does both very well.  We think that the two go hand in hand, as a lot of the information that we report, as well as our relationships with the fighters inspire our artistic minds, which result in great original designs.  We are creating stuff that both fighters and fans want to wear.  Our main goal is to support fighters and promote the growth of the sport as a whole.  We currently sponsor Aaron “A-Train” Simpson and Paul “Semtex” Daley, and we’re in negotiations with a number of other top prospects.  We love and respect the fighters, so we’re all about building long lasting relationships with the fighters and their management.

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FXF: What makes your site such a great destination spot for MMA fans?

MMADogma: Our subscribership continues to grow, month after month for one simple reason – we give it to you straight.  Whether it’s our opinions, which we call Dogma; the way we conduct fighter interviews; or the way we report the everyday news – we don’t worry about being politically correct.  We tell it like we see it, like it or not.  We don’t try to be different, we just are.  All of MMADogma’s founders are from Jersey, and that’s just the way most Jersey people are.

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FXF: You recently entered the MMA fashion world with your own line of MMADogma clothing. What was the reason for this move and what are your plans with the clothing line?

MMADogma: Launching our MMA apparel line happened very organically.  Researching, writing about, and talking to fighters every day really just got our creative juices flowing and all of these great design ideas started popping into our heads.  I also have to admit that we were sick of seeing every MMA clothing company putting out the same crap – skulls, wings, flames, and tribal designs.  We new that was a fad that was soon to die, so instead of jumping on the bandwagon, we decided to create stuff that was a little more thoughtful. We feel our stuff has meaning and purpose and also a cool aesthetic, so we’re proud to wear it.

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FXF: The MMADogma A-Train T-shirt worn by Aaron Simpson at UFC 102 was very unique, not to mention a great looking design. How did this help your exposure in the MMA fashion industry?

MMADogma: Aaron’s shirt brought us a lot of attention.  We received great reviews and a lot of praise for that design.  We didn’t do anything ground breaking. In fact, all we did was create a truly custom design for Aaron.  We know Aaron on a personal level, so we wanted to create something that reflected our relationship with him. We involved him in the design process and asked him for his input and gave him final approval. We didn’t want to just write his name on a shirt that was littered with meaningless graphics and call it a custom tee.  He really liked the shirt and I think his fans did too.

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FXF: You also sponsored Paul Daley recently at UFC 103 for his fight against Martin Kampmann. He was sporting a MMADogma baseball cap. Do you plan on expanding your line to include more hats and accessories?

MMADogma: Absolutely.  We have already added white and dark gray hats in the same design.  We are playing with some new hat designs that incorporate screen printing and embroidery, as well as contrast stitching and other embellishments.  Everyone loves a good flex-fit hat.  We think one of the coolest things about MMADogma is that we have a great logo and a great icon.  Our goal is to have our icon become as prevalent as the Nike Swoosh!

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FXF: Which MMA clothing companies do you think have the most influence right now?

MMADogma: TapouT of course…Silver Star, Toe2Toe, Dethrone and Warrior seem to be in your face a lot lately.  Brands that I like best are RVCA, Hayabusa and Jaco – their styles are a little different.

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FXF: Where do you see the future of MMA fashion headed?

MMADogma: I haven’t seen much change at all in the last 2 years, but I know things have to change, and I’m hoping that MMADogma can bring some positive change.  I hope to see brands create their own styles and identities rather than follow the pack.

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FXF: As MMA continues to evolve, do you foresee any mainstream clothing companies getting involved in the scene?

MMADogma: Of course.  As MMA goes mainstream so will its clothing sponsors.  We’re already seeing some mainstream fashion brands getting in the game.  Ecko is one brand that comes to mind.  Mark Ecko, another News Jersey entrepreneur, has been doing hip hop and street wear for over ten years.  He’s a genius when it comes to branding and marketing and it doesn’t seem that there is any subculture market that he can’t penetrate.  He’s wisely added MMA to that list before most of the other big labels.

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FXF: The all-over print look has become somewhat synonymous with the MMA clothing industry. Do you think this trend will continue, or move more towards basic designs?

MMADogma: I think it will continue for a while, but I think you will see a lot more basic designs too.  We have some cool ideas for all over prints that we’re working on, but our bread and butter is going to continue to be basic designs that are more thought provoking.  We want our line to make people stare and think for a minute…and then say, wow, I get it, that’s pretty cool.  I liken the all over prints to modern abstract art…anyone can throw paint at a canvas and call it art…but how many people can paint a Picasso?

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FXF: Finally, what’s next for MMADogma?

MMADogma: Well, we’re excited about exhibiting at the MMA World (Oct 24 & 25) at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  We’re hoping to register a lot of new subscribers to our site and get the word out about our apparel line.  After that, we’re going to start some heavy grass roots marketing – get out to all the local MMA and grappling events within the North East.  If things keep moving in the right direction, we’ll take things national.

For more information on MMADogma and the new apparel line, visit MMADogma.com.

Interview by: Mike Pokutylowicz (Join on Facebook / Follow on Twitter)

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