KnockoutLounge.com has recently been fortunate enough to partner up with an outstanding fight gear company out of Louisville, KY called Ripper Fight Gear, maker of badass fight clothing and supporter of all things MMA. I got to sit down with Jack Reddington, aka Jack “The Ripper”, to discuss the company, its future, and why MMA holds such a special attraction for him….
Craig Nelson: Okay. Tell me a little bit about Ripper Fight Gear. How did you get started in the crazy world of MMA?
Jack Reddington: Sure. I had been wrestling for about 10 years and met a couple guys who trained MMA at a local dojo. It was called “Dawn Of The Dragon”….and I was taken instantly by the whole scene. I trained under black belt Mr. David Frantz and he developed me into a well rounded fighter. I began fighting for a couple years-and was undefeated actually-then my instructor got cancer and soon thereafter passed away. Our fight team basically broke up and went in all different directions. I continued to train at several other gyms but it wasn’t the same….. I knew a lot of fighters and promoters in the area and wanted to stay in the game. I went to a local show one day and saw another clothing company at a show and realized that’s what I wanted to do; thus the origin of Ripper Fight Gear. I wanted to associate my company with the amateur fighters and teams in the area. I’m not like the bigger companies that ship you a t-shirt or a patch for your shorts and tell you “Good Luck”. I’m actually at the shows talking to the fighters, showing support, giving technical support on anything I can help them with. I’m as loyal a sponsor as I can possibly be.
I started the company about 8 months ago and things have been awesome! I’ve got several fighters and teams in the Louisville area that I’m helping out and am looking to expand!
CN: Do you see yourself branching out and sponsoring some of the bigger name fighters at some point?
JR: Absolutely!!! I’ll sponsor anyone that I can as long as they are dedicated to MMA, and willing to promote Ripper Fight Gear. I hate it when I see some so called “fighters” who put on 4 oz. gloves they bought at Wal-mart and say they are mixed martial artists. That’s so damn disrespectful to all of those real fighters who spend countless hours in the gym perfecting their game…
CN: Amen, brother, no argument there.
JR: I think what a lot of people don’t understand is, MMA isn’t just a sport. It’s a fuckin’ lifestyle. You gotta eat, sleep, and breathe it. It’s not something that weekend warriors can fuck with. (laughs)…. You can edit that if you need to…
CN: No problem, I’m a little raw myself…
JR: I’m just a little passionate about the sport. (lol) As you can tell.
CN: Me too, this is a labor of love for me.
JR: Those who read this and actually ARE MMA fighters will truly understand where I am coming from.
CN: For sure. There’s nothing easy about this sport, and most fighters don’t get paid very much, so ya gotta love it to bleed for it.
JR: Yeah…. Hell, I was happy to get my room paid for and free breakfast! (lol)
CN: Who are some of the other fighters you sponsor?
JR: Rob “Ironman” Smith was one of the first fighters to give me the time of day. We had both trained together at a local gym and he has just recently turned PRO! I wish him all the best! Ray “Short Fuse” Korb was also one of my original fighters and he is definitely an up and coming fighter. I also want to give a shout out to one of the best fighters in the area, Cody “King” Kessinger, who currently holds 2 different amateur belts and is a young beast and definitely has a promising MMA future. I also wanna recognize Kevan Avery who is a young, extremely talented fighter from the Louisville area who you all will hear about really soon.
I’d like to give a shout out to Brandon “HardRock” Higdon (Hardrock MMA), Bad Dog MMA, Georgetown MMA, Taz and BJ Ferguson, and all the talented Kentucky Boy fighters across the state!
CN: Very nice. Sounds like you are well on your way to having Kentucky on lockdown. (lol)
JR: And how could I forget Ron Sparks, who is genuinely one of the nicest, most sincere guys in MMA (who could rip your fuckin’ face off! (lol) ) that I’ve ever trained with. He’s a great fighter and an even better guy.
CN: Yeah, we did an interview with Ron. Seems like a great guy. So, if you could narrow it down to one thing that defines Ripper Fight Gear’s philosophy, what would it be?
JR: Ripper Fight Gear is dedicated to the REAL MMA fighters/fans. And for those who train like hell, and step into the cage and realize, THAT is the easy part!!!
CN: Awesome. If you train right, the fight SHOULD be the easy part. Who is your favorite superhero, and why? (lol)
JR: Favorite superhero???…..uh….THE PUNISHER….he wasn’t really a superhero but he killed ’em all and let God sort em out!!!
CN: (lol) Definitely a superhero in my book. Any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
JR: I would just like to thank KnockoutLounge.com for their service to MMA and giving MMA fans all over the world a chance to find out about Ripper Fight Gear.
CN: Definitely our pleasure, brother. Thank YOU for helping support the fighters that are going to be the next superstars. Happy Independence Day!
JR: You too!
In the coming weeks we will have many more collaborations between ourselves and Ripper Fight Gear. Keep it here at KnockOut Lounge for some exciting promotions!
Image courtesy of Ripper Fight Gear