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Apparel brand with MMA theme nears profitability, founders say

NNBW staff

After attending a mixed martial arts event in San Jose, longtime friends Richard de Ocio and Jeremy Irwin brainstormed how they could make a living working in MMA.

Their brainstorm an apparel company known as Fifth Round Clothing was slow to take flight, but the two founders expect the company will become profitable this year.

Irwin and de Ocio founded Fifth Round Clothing in Reno in 2009 to create a brand for T-shirts and other apparel and to supply local fighters and promoters with Fifth Round-branded gear.

The fledgling company sponsors fighters locally, and several professional fighters and their corner men have worn Fifth Round apparel at pay-per-view events, giving the brand a much-needed leg up.

Fifth Round Clothing provides fighters and promoters with branded apparel and receives a percentage of revenue from sales of T-shirts and other gear. In addition to producing clothing, Fifth Round Clothing manages three Web sites for MMA-related businesses. Fifth Round Clothing uses Branded of Sparks for its screenprinting needs. The company also distributes apparel for other MMA labels.

“We are turning a profit, but we can’t live off it just yet,” says Irwin, who also works as a fight commentator. “Our main concern is keeping Fifth Round Clothing in front of everybody’s eyes and to move further into the pro ranks by supporting fighters and get them to wear Fifth Round clothing.”

Irwin hopes wider recognition of the brand and logo leads to placement into mainstream clothing stores. The duo eventually would like to get involved in fighter management as well.


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