MMA Industry Expanding,

August 27, 2009 has talked at length about MMA’s ability to move beyond the sport and create a lifestyle all of its own. The sport has spawned an entire industry of related training facilities, clothing, equipment, nutritional supplements, movies, music, video games, and now, it seems, the sport has even inspired a poker website.

The following is a press release from (analysis below): is a new hybrid lifestyle online poker brand that caters to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fans around across the globe. The site will make its official launch Friday, Aug. 28, to coincide with its sponsorship of “HDNETFIGHTS PRESENTS M-1 GLOBAL: BREAKTHROUGH”, a live HDNet telecast airing at 10 p.m. ET.


The online poker educational site was built to appeal to the hip, old-school affluence and lifestyle personified by such iconic figures as Hugh Hefner, Steve McQueen, and Ernest Hemingway.


“Think Maxim meets poker meets MMA and that pretty much embodies,” said Michael Lynch, CEO of Templar Consulting, the exclusive marketing agent for is currently accepting pre-registrations and will offer exclusive promotions featuring autographed MMA gear, fight tickets, and personalized MMA training sessions that will include some of the biggest names in MMA.


“Our close association with MMA will allow us to separate ourselves from the more traditional sites that often have a stale and stuffy atmosphere,” said Lynch. “Choke Out Poker will have an edgier and more hip demographic that will offer its players a more relaxed community.”


During its pre-registration period, is currently offering a drawing to win signed fight gear along with a “Beat and Eat” training session lunch with MMA legend Pat Miletich.


Showing a strong commitment to the MMA community, sponsored a total of seven fights earlier this month at the M-1 Challenge in Amsterdam, Holland. Thanks to strong performances of Team USA East fighters John Doyle and Shamar Bailey as well as Team England fighters Scott Hewitt, Simon Phillips, Matt Thorpe, Tom Blackledge, and Dave Keeley, Choke Out Poker fighters went a combined 7-0.


Rooting the fighters on in Amsterdam was Lynch, a former Chief Operating Officer with the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts. Lynch gives Choke Out Poker a highly-visible marketer that is well-known and well-respected within the Mixed Martial Arts industry. A guest on such popular MMA shows such as HDNet’s Inside MMA and Fox’s Fight Game, is excited about his latest endeavor.


“When I was first approached by several months ago, I jumped at the chance to be involved with the first educational poker site that combines the fun of free poker and the excitement of mixed martial arts,” said Lynch. “My partner Ron Hansen is an avid poker player with tremendous industry contacts. It is a perfect fit for all involved.”

Payout Perspective:

The website is bound to draw mixed reactions from the MMA world.

Both MMA and poker are compatible in the sense that they share the same target audience. The reason why sites such as FullTilt and UltimateBet have sponsored various fighters and leagues is because they want to target that 18-34 male demo, flush with disposable cash just waiting to be lost (or won…) at the table. There’s good potential for a website that can properly integrate MMA and poker with various other things that are all stereotypically associated with males in this demographic (i.e., the Maxim demo).

However, the trick is that the MMA-Poker experiment has to be done properly. If the website appears to be a cheap gimmick designed to capitalize and piggyback off of the success of MMA, it will draw a rather cool reception from fans; and therein also lies a long-term concern.

The surging popularity of any brand or entity is going to encounter copy-cats and cheap imitations; the result often being an over-saturated market which dilutes the value of the original. Thus it’s important to be somewhat selective in the associations that the sport makes with various other industries.

After all, as Al Ries will attest, the power of a brand is inversely related to its scope. 

Note: the relationship between ChokeOutPoker and M-1 Global. The website’s executive marketing agent, Michael Lynch, is the original founder and COO of WAMMA, an organization that had extensive ties to Affliction/M-1 and also crowned Fedor Emelianenko its first ever champion in any weight class.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.