TOM Blackledge is hoping this year brings even more success after he landed a top award – just months after launching his own business.
The veteran cage-fighter launching his own label, Legacy Clothing, to beat the boredom as he recovered from injury.
And he saw in the new year with the honour of his firm being named the best UK MMA clothing range in its first year of operation.
Blackledge, of Wigan, said: “We were up against all the other brands and it’s great that people have shown their support.
“It’s gone really well and the hard work has paid off.
“I’ve taken it slowly at first because I wanted it all perfect, I didn’t want to get too ahead of myself. I’m glad people like it.”
Blackledge made his sole UFC appearance in February last year, losing to Anthony Perosh in Sydney.
He has not fought since, as he balances his new venture with coaching and helping to run the Wolfslair gym in Widnes.
And this month he is in America helping his friend, Quintin ‘Rampage’ Jackson, prepare for his fight against Ryan Bader.
Jackson played BA Baracus in The A Team movie and secured Blackledge a role on the set of the blockbuster movie.
They will be based in Denver, Colorado before relocating to Japan for the headlining fight at UFC 144 on February 26.
Jackson is a huge star in the States and Blackledge admits he packed a few XL Legacy T-shirts in his suitcase, knowing it may be good for business if his pal wears his label.
“The clothing range comes out in February but if I can lay any ground-work in America while I’m over, I will,” he added.
Blackledge’s label can be found at legacyclothingco.com