The TAPOUT stock we have on offer is from the good old days when TAPOUT was still TapouT and focused on "fight-style". TapouT had a change of direction after the untimely death of one of the founding members : Charles “Mask” Lewis in 2009 and sale to Authentic Brands Group in 2010.
Tapout was founded by Charles Lewis, Jr. and Gary Fields in 1997. Fields was a contractor and investor and Lewis was a sheriff whom rented a room from Fields. The idea for the company occurred when both men noticed the lack of Mixed martial arts merchandise. Later that year, Lewis took on some new partners in Dan Caldwell and Tim Katz. The majority of their initial sales were made at local fights in Las Vegas. Lewis, and Caldwell later began to distribute the merchandise in other cities where the then niche sport was prevalent. However, due to the growth of popularity and acceptance of mixed martial arts in the United States in the following years, the company would continue to grow. Due to this rapid rise, Tapout was able to officially sponsor various high-profile fighters, including Rashad Evans, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves and Chael Sonnen. This rapid growth led to the company becoming the largest distributor of MMA merchandise in the world, recording revenue of over $22.5 million in 2007.
On June 3, 2007, Lewis, created and produced the reality television series Tapout. The show followed him as he searched the United States for up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighters. It aired for two seasons on cable channel Versus, before being cancelled. It also gave birth to a short-lived radio show, and was the official apparel brand for The Ultimate Fighter during its run on Spike.
On March 11, 2009, Charles Lewis Jr. died in a high-speed car crash in Newport Beach, California. Lewis' Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale collided with an unidentified 1977 Porsche before hitting a light pole. It is also presumed that the two vehicles were traveling alongside one another at high speed, with Lewis being declared dead at the scene. Lacy Lynn White, a twenty-three-year-old female occupant of Lewis' Ferrari, was ejected from the vehicle and was taken to a hospital, suffering a fractured elbow and lacerations. The driver of the Porsche was arrested for "alcohol-related gross vehicular manslaughter".
As a tribute to his contributions to UFC, Lewis was posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC 100 Fan Expo, as well as his name being made a permanent feature on the inside of the door to the Octagon. Katz and Caldwell, as well as the fans in attendance, held a minute's silence for Lewis. Following his death, the remaining founders decided to sell Tapout, which was bought by Authentic Brands Group in 2010.