Whether you admired his entrepreneurship or thought he was "bad for the sport," Charles "Mask" Lewis did a lot to promote MMA and helped carve a distinctive niche in our culture for fighters.
Mask was killed yesterday in a car accident in California.
Like a lot of Martial Artists, I was a little ambivalent about the Tapout line of clothing and work-out gear. The Tapout crew is loud, brash and often obnoxious. But, their clothes are frikkin' cool and there's something to be said about demonstrating excess in a sport that you love. Even though it wasn't for me, I ended up liking their attitude and refusal to tone down.
In a perfect coda, Lewis died speeding in his $300K Ferrari, with a hot chick at his side. (She survived, thankfully)