Knockout Merchandise: Local, Cheap, Pretty F***ing Sweet

Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m a whore.

It’s just the way it is. Kind of the nature of the business. There is no money or glory in writing about MMA/BJJ. The sport is in it’s infancy so any douchebag that can rent a movie has watched old UFC events and proclaimed themselves experts.

They also claim to have been fans from the start.

Newsflash: if everyone that claimed to be fans from the first UFC was telling the truth, the company wouldn’t have all but folded once and been to the brink of bankruptcy as recently as TUF 1.

I hate you people.

So, as a man of modest tastes and a bank account that doesn’t need four digits, my time can be bought.

Pretty cheaply as it turns out.

You want to pimp your seminar? Sure, just let me go.

Want me to prostitute myself for your event? Sure, let me watch.

Want me to sell whatever strange idea of professionalism you may think I actually have just to talk about your product? Sure, just gimme gimme gimme.

Of course, as the Bard says, there in lie the rub.

I don’t make s*** for this stuff. I don’t ask for money because I hate taxes. I want swag. Shirts, rashguards, sweats, hats, whatever. I’m a scrub and I spill beer on myself a lot.

So I don’t have a lot of patience nor a need to kiss anyone’s a**. You don’t want me at your event? Boo hoo! How will I go on?

Oh, I got it: in the same drunken haze I would have been even if you didn’t fancy yourself a junior Dana White.

So when people want me to talk about products, there is risk.

The truth. And my truth is always a risk.

So when the local MMA product company Knockout Merchandise contacted me and asked about doing a product review/plug, I said sure, just gimme stuff.

And they did, so here’s my review.

It’s only f***ing $28!

What? That’s not good enough for you? It was pretty f***ing convincing for me. I’ve spend the $60 or $70 on the name brand BJJ rashguards only to stop and wonder “how much beer money did I just waste to look like some guy who just wishes he was sponsored?”

The Knockout brand rashguard is a simple black with the logo on the breast. It is a compression fit so it is a snug fit around the chest and the neck (though the neck did loosen nicely as I rolled).

Perhaps it is because of my hourglass figure, but it was a bit looser around my tummy (yeah, I call it a tummy, get over it), but overall it offered a secure fit.

I hate loose rashguards. I’m self-conscious of my body and feel vulnerable when people can see my belly button. I need this kind of fit.

It is a thicker, more durable material. And when it comes to rashguards, particularly ones that I am wearing in contest prep, I follow the advice of my buddy Boris The Blade:

Much like my ring card girls, I likes 'em a little thick.

Some might complain that they want them thinner and easier to move in, but when I am getting ready for competitions I want them sturdy, up for a lot of rolling and good for working up a sweat.

Yeah, heavy is reliable. When you roll hard, the last thing you want is thin material to get worn down, snag and just fall apart. I don’t want it to happen on $10 dry-fits or $70 overpriced wastes of money.

The heavy stitching around the seams provides extra durability and reenforces a garment that is traditionally a bit questionable.

And again, it’s only 28 f***ing dollars!

I would like to see it in other colors, but besides that I have no question in my mind that I’ve found a new rashguard for my comp prep training sessions.

The website says that these have gotten very popular with the ladies, but screw it, I've largely given up on life, so I needs my sweats. 

$24.99 when similar products from other brands run almost double that. Again, pretty tough to do wrong.

Listen, the bottom line is that these guys are local, cheap and they sell good products. It’s the same reason I drink Schell’s and Schmidtz.

They are small fish for now trying to exist in a world of people with champagne dreams. They keep their products inexpensive and reliable and I for one want to take advantage of their deals before people realize how good their products are and supply and demand f***s me in the a** once again.

These are good products and God forbid you blow a stitch, reinvesting doesn’t cost you a month’s worth of gym dues. This game can get expensive as is. You might as well do it right.

These guys also sponsor local fighters such as Ben Neumann and Damion Hill.

So, to close it out, some words and promotions straight from co-owner Jeff Swanson's fingers...that sounds weird...

$5 shirt promotion
We have several shirts that are currently at $10.  Starting the week of May 14th, we are going to start discounting these $1 each week until they get down to $5.  Then they are going to remain at $5 until the inventory is gone.  Then we are going to replace them with some new items.  Let’s just say we are going to deviate from the Black and White shirts in our lineup and add a little color… and also add a couple items for the ladies in out “Knockout Girl” line.
Our product line is going 3 different directions right now.

1.      Your standard MMA t-shirts, hats, sweats and hoodies.

2.      Workout / Fight wear…  MMA board and vale tudo shorts, long and short sleeve rash guards.  We are also looking into glove and duffle bags.

3.      Knockout Girl line.  This is our fastest growing area and looks like it will soon be our top line.

Jeremy Tebay (my business partner and majority owner) and I struggle against full time jobs, kids in sports, long commutes and everyday obstacles to keep the business growing.  What keeps us going is the love for MMA and the satisfaction you get from building a business from nothing.  

The thing I enjoy the most… and it took me by surprise… is the people you meet…  the fighters, coaches, promoters, photographers, ring card girls, personalities on Facebook (Choking Minnesota)… and even the competitors in the t-shirt booth next to you.  I think we all love MMA and want to see it grow.

Couldn't have said it any better myself Jeff...mainly because I'm pretty f***ing lit up.

These guys are good s*** so if you see them at a comp or a show, stop by any talk. Keep it local, because MMA in Minnesota grows with the help and support of local businesses.
Looks like I'm in that introspective and emotion stage of drunk. I need to move passed into the less weepy stages. Bartender!

It's Friday! Stop judging me!