Ridgewood, New Jersey – This past Saturday at UFC® 133, Team Palooka’s Johny Hendricks pounded out a 3-round decision over tough veteran Mike Pierce in an exciting, satisfying fight. In fact, the powers that be at the UFC® went so far as to add the fight to their PPV broadcast after the main and co-main events ended early. Of the six fights that the UFC® could have chosen to add to the PPV card, the Hendricks victory was exactly the type of crowd pleasing battle to add to the action-packed PPV card.
Hendricks, an Oklahoma native and 4-time All American college wrestler at Oklahoma State University made his way to the cage in Philadelphia wearing Team Palooka gear, which was making its debut.
“Johny Hendricks is EXACTLY the type of MMA fighter that Palooka Gear wants to be partners with,” said “Joe Palooka” and “Legion of Combat” MMA comic book series creator Joe Antonacci. “Johny knows that everything begins and ends with the fans and making them happy. The UFC® gets that, and so does Johny Hendricks and the entire Team Takedown.”
Antonacci, who drove to Philadelphia and spent four days meeting with almost two-dozen UFC® fighters and their teams, was blown away by fighters’ excitement over the “Joe Palooka” MMA comic and the hospitality extended by everyone at the UFC®. “From the top to the bottom, everyone in this organization understands the importance of giving the fans access, excitement, and value. At Palooka.com, and the comics ‘Joe Palooka’ and ‘Legion of Combat,’ we are proud to be associated with the UFC®, their fighters, and, of course, their fans. We handed out dozens of tee-shirts, postcards, and headbands, and the fan reaction was tremendous. And like the UFC®, Team Palooka is determined to work day and night to keep the fans 100% stoked with our product.”
When asked about the immediate plans for more Team Palooka/UFC® fighter sponsorships, Antonacci said, “We plan to be represented at every UFC® show we possibly can, either in-person or by our Team Palooka fighters. We know that the fans will love our comics and our gear as much as they love the fighters who they’ll see proudly wearing it into the UFC® Octagon™.”
“The MMA audience is young, passionate and very loyal,” continued Antonacci. “When I showed fans our shirts, artwork samples and gear at 133, they immediately understood what Joe Palooka the character and the comic book are all about, and they can’t wait to get more.
“In addition, the fighters themselves loved the idea of an MMA comic, and wanted to know more about the book, its characters, when it’s coming out, and how they can get involved with Team Palooka.” So, what are the plans? “We will have UFC® fighters in our books, playing both fighting and action hero roles,” explains Antonacci. “The ‘Joe Palooka’ and ‘Legion of Combat’ stories will be action-packed adventure tales that our readers will really be able to get involved in. There will be action and adventure taking place all over the globe. And I guarantee you, that they’ll be some very familiar faces in there for MMA fans to root for as they turn the pages of these exciting new comic books. The fans can’t wait for the action to start and neither can we. Look for the books both online at Palooka.com and in stores in late 2011” concluded Antonacci.