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Friday, 03/02/2012, 09:02 am

Exclusive | Headrush’s Mike McLeish Sheds Light on Team Brand, Fighters, Expos, and More


As mixed martial arts’ continues to grow into mainstream success, sponsors continue to grow as well.

One in particular is Headrush, who sponsors a talented team of fighters including UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, heavyweight contender Shane Carwin, Stipe Miocic, Scott Jorgensen, Stephen Thompson, and UFC on Fuel TV 3 headliner and featherweight title contender Dustin Poirier to merely name a few. Additionally, BMX legend TJ Lavin and MTV star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino proudly represent the brand.

U.S. Brand Manager Mike McLeish tells BJPenn.com’s Joshua Carey that he couldn’t be more excited for the future of the Headrush team.

“Oh, for me it’s so exciting for sure,” McLeish said. “It’s like these (guys) are all my brothers and I want them to do great and get that win. Some guys I talk to on a normal basis away from MMA. They know my family, so sometimes it’s more than just seeing them win or lose.

“I’m stoked for Dustin Poirier’s fight for sure. That kid is so talented and humble. I was happy for Carlos Condit to finally get the fight (welterweight championship fight versus Nick Diaz) and win the belt, he deserved it. “Wonderboy” (Stephen Thomson) I’m stoked on, he is so talented and such a down to earth guy. The next UFC EXPO in Las Vegas we’re doing it big again, we got some special things in the mix and hopefully everyone leaves stoked to have been at our booth.”

Before the UFC Expo arrives this July in Las Vegas, Headrush is headed to this weekend’s Arnold Classic Fitness Expo in Columbus, Oh. prior to Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey on Saturday night live on Showtime.

Alongside McLeish at the expo will be the aforementioned Miocic, Thompson, Jorgensen, and Poirier. Joining them at the state of the art booth will be the beautiful Chandella Powell and UFC flyweight Louis Gaudinot

For McLeish, bringing the aforementioned team to expo’s, parties, and signings is an easy decision. It’s a terrific way for fans to connect one-on-one and experience first-hand how genuine the brand is.

“Oh, that’s easy, it gives the FANS a moment to connect and talk to that fighter or celebrity or sports guy one more time. We want our fans too really be involved with us on those things and it works. If you’ve been to one of our booths then you will know what I’m talking about. Headrush prides itself in creating an experience at expos from LA Fitness to UFC fan expos.”

Choosing who to represent the Headrush brand may appear to be a complicated process, but for McLeish, who joins the team goes far beyond their win-loss record inside the Octagon.

“Well, it’s not that hard, but it’s definitely not just a W-L record,” said McLeish. “These guys all fit the Headrush team in others ways. Fan friendly, loyalty, social media, and family.  I look at a lot of different things and always budget plays a factor. Sometimes it’s a recommendation from another fighter. We tend to do a lot of new comers, guys off “TUF”, etc. We work hard at getting a good team together.”

Working daily to form a top-notch team, prepare for expos, parties, and appearances is likely harder than McLeish tells, but it’s all worth the end goal and that’s overall success of the Headrush crew.

“I want them to be excited to rock it and support the Brand,” McLeish said regarding fans seeing the Headrush brand. “I want fans to be stoked on our team and what Headrush does for the fans and its fighters. We are a crew and fans are part of that crew, that family.”

For additional information on Headrush and upcoming events, follow McLeish on Twitter.

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