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Charles Lewis, the Mask of TapouT Will Be Missed

I was watching the fights tonight on UFC Fight Night Live: From Nashville and caught the Cole Miller vs. Junie Browning fight.  There was your normal round of smack talk as to be understood.  And then, the fight began.
I think it happened in less than a minute when Cole Miller caught Junie Browning in a guillotine and made him tap out of the fight.  Cole Miller immediately got to his feet and yelled something at Junie who was still on the ground trying to figure out where he was.
As Joe Rogan approached Cole Miller after the fight, the first thing he wanted to know from the fighter was what Cole had said to Junie.
Cole looked at the camera and said, “Who’s underrated now?”
Then, Joe started to ask Cole another question.  But, Cole leaned into Joe’s ear and asked if he could say something else.  “Absolutely!”
Cole began, “I would like to dedicate this fight to Mask, co-owner of TapouT…”
I thought, “That’s cool.”
And then my heart sunk as I heard the rest of the dedication, “…who died in a car crash.”
Charles Lewis aka. Mask was pronounced dead at the scene where his Ferrari collided with a Porsche, the driver of which had been drinking and has now been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter.
Mask was a motivating man who supported the MMA scene in anyway that he could.  He sold shirts out of the back of a truck back in the 90s when MMA wasn’t even legal in the states yet.  When MMA was legalized, plenty of critics said that the sport wouldn’t be around long.  But, Mask knew.
He hung with it!
As a millionaire, Mask has supported fighters with funds of his own as well as any way he could give them publicity.  Selling TapouT shirts grew into a comic book, a video game and a television show.  There was no limit to how far he could have gone, but that’s over now.
He will be missed.  A true warrior of the sport.  When I look up to people, I look up to the ones who faced adversity and overcame.  Mask wasn’t always on the top.  But, he made it to the top and that’s what counts.

RIP

Mask ~ Charles Lewis

Mask ~ Charles Lewis

To the driver of the Porsche Jeffrey Kirby, May God Have Mercy On Your Soul!

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