Tag Archive | "Tito Ortiz"

Pick Of The Week: Johnny Messner Delivers A Powerhouse Performance In ‘Silencer’

Pick Of The Week: Johnny Messner Delivers A Powerhouse Performance In ‘Silencer’

One of the highlights of cinema in 2018 has been the return of the action thriller. A recent standout is the latest offering from director Timothy Woodward, Jr. (Weaponized, Traded, Hickok). “Silencer,” starring the criminally underrated Johnny Messner, is a beautifully constructed tale of one man’s quest for revenge and redemption. The story centers around a seasoned retired mercenary-turned-hitman, Frank (Messner), who is searching for emotional balance after retirement. After an attempt to drag the grizzled vet back into the murder-for-hire game goes awry, things turn personal with the abduction of his beloved stepdaughter. As the stakes rise high and war spills over the border, Frank discovers he must confront his dark past as “The Silencer” in order to preserve the future of his family.

“Silencer” puts the often underutilized talents of genre legend Danny Trejo (“Machete”) to good use in one of his meatiest roles, while Former MMA Rivals Tito Ortiz (Former UFC Champion, “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween”) and Chuck Liddell (Former UFC Champion & Hall of Famer, “War Pigs”) bring the muscle in supporting roles. While there is plenty of action and bloodshed in the flick, the filmmaker isn’t afraid to delve a little deeper to the emotional side. Through the great performances from it’s leads, “The Silencer” serves up a heaping helping of character depth and heart, which allows it to rise above the typical shoot’em up revenge romp.

The Verdict: Silencer” is a gritty, raw and unrelenting ride through darkness and Johnny Messner delivers a powerhouse performance. The film is truly a ride worth taking.

Where to find it: “Silencer” will be available Digitally & On Demand September 4th. A Blu-Ray/DVD Combo will hit stores on September 18th.

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THE HURT BUSINESS: Check Out The New Teaser Trailer For The Upcoming MMA Documentary

THE HURT BUSINESS: Check Out The New Teaser Trailer For The Upcoming MMA Documentary

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Directed and penned by Vlad Yudin (GENERATION IRON, JEREMY SCOTT: THE PEOPLE’S DESIGNER), helmed by Yudin and Edwin Mejia of The Vladar Company with Oscar® winner Jim Czarnecki (FAHRENIHET 9/11, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE), THE HURT BUSINESS (opens everywhere at the end of September 2016), a follow-up to critically acclaimed feature, GENERATION IRON; a film which left an impact on the world of bodybuilding and now Yudin plans to do the same to the sport of MMA. Extending beyond the octagon and taking a deeper look into what life is really like within the world of MMA, the film follows the daily lives of UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad “Suga” Evans and female phenomena Ronda Roussey, former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion; current UFC bantamweight champ Holly Holm, who defeated Rousey, will also appear. Along with a look at their day to day lives, the film will examine how the sport went from being shunned as barbaric to the popular, celebrity-creating entertainment operation it is today.

The film also features other top names in the sport including Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Georges St-Pierre, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett and many more. Through the telling of their experiences, the complete history and culture of MMA is explored in a more expansive way than ever before. Additionally, contributions from leading psychologists, neurologists and sociologists as well as government officials analyze the grim prevalence of brain trauma and the implications of MMA’s increased popularity, and what it means for our society. How a sport that has until recently been illegal and referred to as “human cock-fighting” became accepted, and even glamorized by the mainstream culture.

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Round 5 To Offer Exclusive “3-Pack” With Buffer, Preview Of “Live” Series With Couture, Liddell At UFC® Fan Expo™ In Boston

Round 5 To Offer Exclusive “3-Pack” With Buffer, Preview Of “Live” Series With Couture, Liddell At UFC® Fan Expo™ In Boston

After two hugely successful UFC® Fan Expo™ events in Las Vegas, Round 5, a leader in producing mixed martial arts collectible figurines, will give East Coast UFC fans the first chance to experience two significant new collections at the upcoming UFC Fan Expo, August 27-28 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston. In addition to “3-packs” featuring Bruce Buffer, exclusive to Expo in the U.S., Round 5 will display prototypes of its high-detail “Live” series with Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell.

Round 5 can be found at Booth No. 2524 on the convention floor.

The “3-packs” are enhanced versions of the new Round 5 “Versus” line, distinctly new figurines highlighting battle scenes from great UFC matches, supplemented with a Buffer figure, not available in any other Round 5 Series at mass retailers in the U.S. The three matchups available in limited quantities at the Expo are “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva (UFC 92), Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell (UFC 66) and Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC 100).

Bruce Buffer will also sign autographs at the Round 5 booth at the Expo.

Expo attendees will also get the first look at UFC “Live,” highly-detailed, realistic, scaled figure statues, packaged separately. Created with the higher-end collector in mind, these premium figures will measure a full 10 inches and will also come with a UFC-branded display stand. Together, the Couture and Liddell figures, created at a 1/7 scale, complete a battle scene from the epic June 6, 2003, first meeting between the mixed martial arts legends.

“UFC Fan Expo arrives at the perfect time for us to offer the exclusive 3-packs with Bruce Buffer and to show fans and collectors the exciting new figurines coming for the holiday season,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 president and co-founder. “The ‘Live’ line is completely different from anything we have produced, and we are sure that fans will notice and enjoy that distinctive look and feel.”

Fans will also be able to purchase the new “Ultimate Collector” Series 3 figurines at the Expo, including new representations of Rich Franklin, Anderson Silva, Antonio Nogueira, Diego Sanchez and both UFC and PRIDE versions of Wanderlei Silva.

“Ultimate Collector” Series 1 and 2 are now available at leading retailers across North America, and Series 3 will be available shortly. A list of retailers can be found at www.Round5MMA.com.

About Round 5
Round 5 (www.Round5MMA.com), headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada, is the MMA industry’s fastest growing worldwide collectible figure company. Committed to developing intricately detailed figures, Round 5 strives to remain true to the sport of MMA and its personalities.

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Franklin, Nogueira, Sanchez, A. Silva, W. Silva In New Round 5 UFC Series

Franklin, Nogueira, Sanchez, A. Silva, W. Silva In New Round 5 UFC Series

Five new figurines depicting popular UFC fighters Rich “Ace” Franklin, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez, Anderson “Spider” Silva and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva will comprise the next UFC “Ultimate Collector” Round 5 series, as announced today by Barron Lau, Round 5 CEO and co-founder and Damon Lau, president and co-founder.

Fans will also want to be on the lookout for a special PRIDE edition of the Wanderlei Silva figurine, available on a limited basis. The PRIDE variant will feature the gloves and trunks Silva wore during his successful championship run between the PRIDE ropes.

Round 5 also announced the formation of its new “Versus” line, which highlights battle scenes from great matchups in MMA history. Additionally, these distinctly new figurines are accompanied by an Octagon segment display.

Included in the “Versus” series are figurine pairs from the following bouts:
Quinton Jackson vs. W. Silva (UFC 92), 12-27-2008; Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn (UFC 94), 1-31-2009; Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC 100), 7-11-2008; Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell (UFC 66), 12-30-2006; Ortiz vs. Liddell (TUF 11); Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar (Ultimate Fighter Season Finale) 4-9-2005; and Jackson vs. Silva (PRIDE 28), 10-31-2004.

Series 3 is scheduled to be available at retail in the summer of 2010, while the “Versus” line is due to hit stores in time for the 2010 Holiday season.

“The ‘Ultimate Collector’ line has been a big hit with fans, and we’re pleased to be able to bring another set of popular fighters out on the heels of the first two this year,” said Damon Lau. “The ‘Versus’ series will be the first time we have packaged pairs of fighters, and they will be completely new representations of each, incorporating elements specific to those matchups.”

“Longtime MMA enthusiasts will really be drawn to UFC Series 3,” said Barron Lau. “It includes several fighters whose influence has been felt for some time, and who continue to compete at the highest levels. Further, the cage display included for the first time in the ‘Versus’ line accentuates the connection between the two fighters through their classic bout in a way that fans will really appreciate.”

As with the first two “Ultimate Collector” Series, the new individual and “Versus” collectibles will be presented in stylish, UFC-themed packaging that includes action photos of each respective fighter’s memorable moments as well as a short biography.

“Ultimate Collector” Series 2 will first be available at Target stores this month and at other leading retailers across North America in May. A list can be found at www.Round5MMA.com.

The release of “Ultimate Collector” Series 3 will bring the total of available Round 5 “Ultimate Collector” figurines to 17. Series 2 is comprised of Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin, Michael Bisping and “Kimbo” Slice. Series 1 includes figures of Chuck Liddell, George St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian, Clay Guida and Lyoto Machida. The “Versus” line adds seven pairs, or 14 more total unique figures to the list.

About Round 5
Round 5 (www.Round5MMA.com), headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada, is the MMA industry’s fastest growing worldwide collectible figure company. Committed to developing intricately detailed figures, Round 5 strives to remain true to the sport of MMA and its personalities.

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Frank Shamrock Signs On For EA SPORTS MMA Video Game

Frank Shamrock Signs On For EA SPORTS MMA Video Game

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478176-frank_shamrock_largeLegendary mixed martial arts fighter, Frank Shamrock, joins the already impressive and ever-growing fighter roster for EA SPORTS MMA.

Shamrock was the first UFC Middleweight champion, a 5-time undefeated UFC Champion and Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. He is currently a fighter for Strikeforce, a commentator for CBS / Showtime, a trainer and an author.

The 5’10”, 185 pound mixed martial arts veteran holds a career record of 23-10-2 and his primary fighting style features catch wrestling and kick boxing. Shamrock began his mixed martial arts career in the mid-90’s and has been a part of many historical fights, including bouts with top MMA fighters including Tito Ortiz, Bas Rutten and Cung Le.

Other confirmed fighters in EA SPORTS MMA include: Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, Renato Sobral, Gegard Mousasi and Jay Hieron.

Check out the official site for the upcoming game at mma.easports.com.

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Round 5 to Debut Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Dan Henderson Limited Editions at UFC Fan Expo

Round 5 to Debut Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Dan Henderson Limited Editions at UFC Fan Expo

LE-Collectible-UFC-Fan-ExpoMixed martial arts fans and other collectors attending UFC Fan Expo on Friday and Saturday at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas will be first in line as Round 5 unveils its premiere “Limited Edition,” individually numbered figurines, featuring MMA stars Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson. Available for the first time at the Round 5 booth (#427), the Rua collectible includes his signature Bad Boy Walk Out t-shirt while Henderson’s comes with an American Flag, and both come in packaging that is distinct from the standard Series 4 issue, also debuting at Fan Expo.

Rua will also join Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva at the booth as they meet fans and sign autographs during the two days. On Friday, “Shogun” will sign from 3 – 5 p.m., while Couture will be there from 6 – 7 p.m. On Saturday, Silva will be available from 2 – 3:30pm and “Shogun” from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Only 2,548 of the Limited Edition ‘Shogun’ and Henderson collectibles will ever be made, and just 252 – in numerical order beginning at Fan Expo opening at 10 a.m. on Friday – will be available each day at Expo.

“The UFC Fan Expo is a unique opportunity for us to connect with fans who have enjoyed the first three Series, and we’re pleased to reward them with the advance availability of the Limited Edition and Series 4 as well as the meet-and-greets with three of our stars,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 president.

The first shipments of Series 4, which includes “Shogun,” Henderson, Gina Carano, Cung Le and Matt Serra, are going to Las Vegas. They are expected to be available at retail locations across North America and online at www.Round5MMA.com later this month or in early August.

Round 5 plans to release collectibles of two additional series of athletes later in 2009, one during each quarter. Athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.

Round 5 collectible figures may be purchased at leading retailers such as Walmart (Canada), Toys ‘R’ Us, FYE, Century Martial Arts, Sunrise Records, The Treadmill Factory and Hatashita International. Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php.

About Round 5
Round 5 (www.Round5MMA.com), headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada, is the MMA industry’s fastest growing worldwide collectible figure company. Committed to developing intricately detailed figures, Round 5 strives to remain true to the sport of MMA and its personalities.

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Round 5’s Damon Lau Talks The World Of MMA

Round 5’s Damon Lau Talks The World Of MMA

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Above: MMA Legend Randy Couture gets up close and personal with his Round 5 Series 1 Figurine.

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Damon Lau

Round 5 is an exciting young company based out of Ontario, Canada. Founded by brothers Barron and Damon Lau, the company has quickly established themselves as one of the top brands of MMA collectibles in the world by forging relationships with MMA stars and giving fans exactly what they want in the form of high quality collectible figurines. Round 5 has negotiated exclusive contracts with many of the top stars in Mixed Martial Arts, including Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Serra and Gina Carano, just to name a few. The company remains committed to developing intricately detailed figures and giving the fighters and fans, who have made MMA one of the fastest growing sports in the world, what they deserve. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Damon Lau, President of Round 5, to discuss the company’s history, what exactly goes into making the figures and what they have in store for us in the months to come. ??
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For those not yet familiar with Round 5, what can you tell us about the company and how it all begin?
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round5_feature2The funny thing about it is that it started off just really by interest and a hobby about two years ago. My background is actually in advertising and marketing. I own a mid-sized agency here in Toronto, Canada which is co-owned by my brother Barron (Lau) and we have done for a lot of different clients. For example, we have done stuff for Calvin Klein, Yahoo and all sorts of stuff. One of my big interests for the past eight or nine years has been mixed martial arts. I am not a big NFL fan, I watch a little bit of hockey but my die hard passion for the past eight or nine years has been MMA. Because of that, we started getting a few clients through the advertising agency and through those relationships I actually got the chance to work with Randy Couture. The story is pretty funny, Randy and I met through work where we were associates and ended up becoming really good friends. Around the spring of 2007, Randy was coming to Toronto and asked if I wanted to meet for dinner. I said “Absolutely, I would love to meet for dinner”. At that time, UFC and MMA as a whole had really started blowing up and was beginning to get really, really big. Randy was the UFC champion at that time, so at dinner we were talking about some business ideas that we thought would be great for the sport, considering how mainstream it had gone. Randy said to me, “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone created plastic cauliflower ears to wear at the fights!” I thought that it was pretty funny and in response to that I said “Wouldn’t it be neat if someone decided to create figurines or action figures of MMA stars.” We both sorta paused for a second and said “Hey, that’s not a bad idea!” Randy said to me that if I ever decided to do that to let him know and that he would love to get involved. That is how I got involved with the business, literally on a whim. I thought it was a great idea. I thought that the concept was good and fresh, especially in a sport like MMA where it is so dominated with merchandise that basically leans toward t-shirts and fight clothing. We brought in a breath of fresh air to the industry and created a category within the industry that has been very, very successful.
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You mentioned Randy Couture, how did you go about bringing in Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz and “Rampage” Jackson to round out the original series of figures?

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It’s pretty interesting. As big as the sport is, the actual group of industry people is very, very small. A lot of the people are connected and have a lot of strong relationships. Since I had the relationship with Randy and a couple of other key people working within the MMA industry, we started approaching the athletes about the licensing either through management, through a friend or referral and it really worked out well.
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For those who might not be very familiar with MMA, how did you come up with the name ‘Round 5′?

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Round 5 directly relates to championship rounds being 5 rounds. In an MMA fight there are always 5 rounds and that is how we focused on the name. We thought that it was catchy and relevant to the sport. So that is where it came from.
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Can you give us a little insight on how the contracts work with the fighters?

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round5_feature3Ninety five percent of our contracts are exclusive agreements with the fighters on multi-year terms. What we did was create a program for what we felt that would benefit the fighters extremely well and that would benefit the fans as well. One of the key points is that we pay very, very high royalties on our program because we want to make sure that the fighters benefit from it and more importantly, that they would be more interested in becoming involved with the process of creating the product. We allow our fighters to have approval rights on the product which is a rarity in the toy industry, just due to a lot of the back and forth that can happen between a toy company and its respective license holder. Since we have given the fighters high royalty rates and approval rights, it gets them really involved with the process of creating the product. The fighters then want to make sure that the product sells, looks good and represents them really, really well. They are involved in every step along the way in the product development from the pose of the figurine, to the sculpting and molding, even down to what logos are on the shorts. I think for the fans it creates a lot more of an authentic product. As a fan, it is great to know you bought a Quentin “Rampage” Jackson figurine and know that he played a major role in development and that the product got a thumbs up from Rampage himself.
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You company has really had a really quick rise. What has been the personal highlight for you?

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A personal highlight for me has been getting involved with the product development and seeing it come alive while working with a lot of the athletes and hearing the stories about their careers. What you will notice about our figures is that each one is based around some kind of iconic moment or iconic pose. Those poses mean something to that specific person. Getting involved in that process and trying to make a vision come alive with the actual person, I think is the highlight of this project and this company.
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What are the steps involved with creating a figure and how long does the process normally take?

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round5_feature1It really varies but artistically speaking, it takes about six to twelve months to develop something. When I tell people that, they think it is crazy, but the process gets really in-depth. We usual start by setting up a photo shoot, so that we have reference images to use. After the photo shoot, we move to clay sculpting. Clay sculpting usual goes into hundreds of revisions between the internal product development team and obviously, the approval from the athlete. After clay sculpting, we usually go into creating a painted sample. The painted samples are a hardened clay with paint on them. We begin selecting the paint and working with sponsors to get the appropriate rights to reproduce their logos. After that, we go into molding and that goes into product and plastics engineering. After plastics engineering, it goes into Pantone paint samples. We have to have dozens of paint colors that have to be manually selected for everything between the eye color to the color on the shorts. Then there is still the product packing, marketing, mass production, shipping logistics and distribution! It is a very large and intensive process to create the product that ends up in the customers hands but it is very rewarding for sure!
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How have the MMA fans been reacting to the figures? What type of feedback have you been getting?

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Honestly, the best part of this is the feedback that we get from the fans. The product that we create is really geared toward the collector and people who are true fans of the sport. The same person that watched the Pay-Per-View, who wants to watch the countdown on TV, or wants a figure that they can leave on their desk at work or put in their collector’s case at home, they have been the most responsive. We get about one hundred to two hundred emails a day from fans that give us ideas and feedback. We even receive “snail mail” that have drawings from fans where they have drawn the fighter that they want to see and have drawn them in the pose that they want them in. It has been nothing short of fantastic! When I originally started this company with my brother, we wanted to create a product that we thought was cool ourselves. It is just great to see that the fans feel the same way and believe in the vision as well.
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What do you have in store for fans with in your next series?

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Our next series is probably going to be available at the beginning of August. That includes Gina Carano, Cung Le, Dan Henderson, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Matt Serra. We still have more series planned but we haven’t announced the characters yet. We have over forty different licenses that we hold right now, so we have plenty of characters that we can create and provide to the fans.
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As a fan of MMA, who is the fighter that you find to the most intriguing in the sport right now?

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round5_feature4Obviously, what is really a hot topic right now is Brock Lesnar. I think he is one of the most interesting characters out there, for many different reasons. Who would have thought Brock Lesnar would have become a heavyweight champion? I think that coming over to the sport from WWE and all the attention that comes with it, only training MMA for a few years and having only one or two professional fights before winning the championship is a very odd situation. He is a physical specimen in himself, but I think the question is “Will his physical attributes carry him far enough in the sport?” where he can become a champion that everyone respects as an undisputed champion. He lost his first fight coming into UFC and everyone completely wrote him off. Everyone thought that although he is big and he is huge, when it comes to fighting against a true mixed martial artist, he is going to lose. After that he came back and beat Heath Herring in a pretty dominate fight using mainly wrestling. Then he came back and beat Randy Couture. I think a lot of people thought physically he could dominate Randy Couture but skill set-wise, I think a lot of MMA purists really expected Randy to win.
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A) Can his physical attributes carry him forward outside of his experience and lack of training to continue as Champion and B) Should he have even have a chance to become Champion in the first place? Did he earn his spot to fight for the Heavyweight title because he had only won one fight in the UFC and it was not against a top contender and then got a chance to fight Randy Couture. A lot of people have respect for the MMA fighters because of their backgrounds, how long they have trained and how fierce they are about the sport but then you have his huge wrestling guy come in and knock out one of the legends — you have to wonder if he will continue to move forward in the sport. I think he is so interesting for these reasons: He is a Champion, should he have become a Champion? Does he deserve to be, and will he continue to be?
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So, I think he is definitely one of the hottest stories. Will there be bad or good? I think there is bad and good in both of it.
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For those who want to get their hands on Round 5’s products, where can they find them?

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Fans can go to our website, www.round5mma.com, and order them online direct from our website or they are available at tons of different retailers. In the United States, they are available at Toys ‘R Us, FYE, all of your local MMA and collector’s stores. In Canada, they are available in Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R Us. We have distributors in Japan and the UK, so they are pretty much available everywhere and there are plenty of opportunities to get the products.
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Thanks a lot for your time, Damon!
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Thank you! I appreciate it.

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More on Round 5…



Round 5 has offered up a sneak peak of their Series 4 figurines, which is scheduled for late July/early August release! The series includes Gina Carano, Cung Le, Dan Henderson, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Matt Serra. Check out the “comparison figures” here >

Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php.

Round 5 is also preparing for its large presence at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas in July 2009.

Photos Courtesy of Round5MMA.com

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