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MetroPCS lays the TapouT smackdown on Huawei's Ascend... gently

Darren Murph

Is it really, truly possible to market a Froyo-based smartphone -- let alone one from 2010 -- to a demographic obsessed with Cauliflower ear? MetroPCS seems to think so, and its version of the Huawei Ascend just so happens to be "sanctioned" by TapouT. Hailed as the first brand to represent MMA, TapouT's roots are plastered all about the innards of the phone, with this Special Edition handset shipping with ten virtual training center videos, a dozen static wallpapers, six live wallpapers and a host of presumably violent Android applications. You'll also get a pair of interchangeable backs, a 2GB microSD card and support for the company's contract-free $50 / $60 smartphone plans. As for the cost of the phone itself? Free after a suplex + sleeper hold combo on the dude working the desk.

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MetroPCS Introduces TapouT Special Edition Android Handset, Nationwide Tour with MMA's Best Fighters

Custom Huawei Ascend brings the thrill of the cage to the palm of your hand with pre-loaded, exclusive TapouT training content and new TapouT application

DALLAS, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MetroPCS Communications, Inc., in partnership with SA Studios Global, today introduced the Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT, a special-edition handset designed in conjunction with Mixed Martial Arts ("MMA") and lifestyle brand TapouT, an Authentic Brands Group company. The phone will be available exclusively at MetroPCS stores and online within the next few weeks.

The Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT comes with two interchangeable backs and is pre-loaded with a full content suite featuring TapouT static and live wallpapers, TapouT Virtual Training center videos and a new TapouT application exclusively available on the phone.

Finished in high gloss black with matte black casing, the Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT features the iconic TapouT logo emblazoned on the back of both covers, one in tonal black and the other in dark grey with the cage graphic frequently seen on TapouT merchandise. The handset is powered by Android™ 2.2 (Froyo), features a large 3.5 inch touchscreen and a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera and camcorder, and comes with a 2GB microSD™ memory card.

The Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT is available with MetroPCS' smartphone service plans at $50 and $60 a month, including all applicable taxes and regulatory fees. Both plans offer unlimited talk, text and Web services for about half the cost of other carriers' smartphone plans today, along with Metro USA(SM) nationwide coverage covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population.

"The TapouT brand is admired by MMA fans around the world, and we're proud to offer consumers a unique and personalized handset that carries the energy and radical design for which TapouT is known," said Phil R. Terry, senior vice president of corporate marketing for MetroPCS. "Special edition handsets are one of the ways that we're giving consumers the devices, services and features that are a perfect fit with their lifestyles and interests."

TapouT is the most recognizable brand in the MMA world. Founded in 1997 by Charles "Mask" Lewis Jr., Dan "Punkass" Caldwell and Tim "SkySkrape" Katz in California, the three made t-shirts and sold them at local gyms and MMA events. The brand rapidly became the de-facto brand worn by MMA fans throughout the U.S. and now has global distribution sponsoring a number of top athletes including Ryan Bader and Jake Shields.

"When we started TapouT, the goal was to create a brand that captured the true essence and lifestyle of MMA fans. Today, the mobile phone is the most important piece of technology that we own, and is an extension of the owner's personality. TapouT fans now have a handset that reflects their lifestyle and the latest technology on the market. The value that MetroPCS offers consumers is unmatched in the industry and was an obvious choice for us," said Caldwell, co-founder of TapouT.

Cross-Country Tour

To celebrate the launch, Punkass and SkySkrape will travel across the country on the TapouT bus to visit MetroPCS stores and host The Ultimate Fighter™ watching parties. A full schedule of locations and dates can be found at Additionally, customers who purchase the phone will be able to redeem 20 percent off gear and apparel at and enter to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to watch the finale of The Ultimate Fighter™ with Punkass and SkySkrape.

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