The TXMMA Story:
TXMMA was founded essentially early 2001, by Paul Erickson and Sounthaly “Tune” Outhavong. In January 2001, the Fertitta brothers had just announced their purchase of the UFC from SEG. Both professionals with master’s degrees in marketing and public relations, respectively, and fans of the sport, Erickson and Outhavong decided to try to get hired on to work for the newly-formed Zuffa, LLC. Despite traveling to Las Vegas, securing an appointment, and presenting a marketing pitch to newly-minted president Dana White, it was not to be, as the new UFC used existing internal and external resources to handle PR and marketing.
Undaunted, and energized by their experience in Las Vegas, the pair were still determined to make an impact in the sport, and after attending a number of Texas events as fans, decided to create a site that would serve as a community and communications hub for the Texas scene. Given the history of the sport surviving thanks to Internet-based communication, it seemed the appropriate move to help move the Texas scene forward. As years passed, TXMMA became the main site for the Texas scene, and this continues today. TXMMA exists as a free resource for the Texas scene to utilize for information, communication, and community.
TXMMA holds the distinction of being the first state-focused MMA site in the country, and founder Paul Erickson is also responsible for taking the initiative to procure the Nevada and New Jersey athletic commissions’ versions of what is today the “Unified Rules” of MMA, and delivering them directly into the hands of Dickie Cole of the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation in a downtown Austin Starbucks in 2001. These rules, thanks to the efforts of MMA pioneer Steve Armstrong in cooperation with Cole, gradually morphed into the first official closed-fist MMA rule set that went into effect in 2004.
Today, through the efforts of Erickson, Mike and Cara Valentine, Mike Calimbas, and others who contribute to the site, TXMMA continues to support the Texas MMA scene, and is fueled purely by people passionate about the sport, and not through any commercial interest, outside investment, or for-profit business models. TXMMA welcomes any and all contributors who have a passion for the sport and who wish to give coverage, opinion, photography, or other content to the site, that helps bring exposure to the scene.
Thanks for visiting the site, and for continuing to support it and the Texas scene as both continue to evolve.
Paul Erickson (Arclight)
PS – For more background, feel free to read the unedited Tapout Magazine interview conducted by Jerry MacReady.