Welcome back fight fans. Today we are stepping outside of the cage and getting into the surrounding world of MMA and got the chance to sit down with our very good friends at Warfare Inc.(@warfareinc1) as they are quickly taking over the northeastern MMA scene. You may have seen their brand on the past interviews we have done with CFFC stars Jonavin Webb and Shedrick Goodridge. Warfare Inc boss James Cosenza took some time to tell us about his brand so let’s take a second to get to know what exactly goes into being a part of the MMA clothing scene and sponsoring some of the top fighters in the game. But before we do that make sure to get over to the site as they are having a huge sale for Labor Day, buy 1 get next item 50% off!!!!
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. I am sure people have seen me tweeting about your line of Warfare Inc Clothing but take a minute and talk to us about how it all started and what makes you different from other apparel lines out there?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: First off, thanks for the support! We see all the tweets. I started the company back in 2010. I wanted to fight and began training out of Ricardo Almeida’s BJJ and one of Renzo Gracie’s academies (before an accident). Along side some of the toughest guys on the planet. Before the start of the company when there was still basically no money in it. I saw how some of the guys had to rely on other incomes and some of them had some pretty big names. I figured I would form a back up plan. My cousin Joe brought the idea of starting my own line. So I thought about it, came up with the name and ran with it. We were up for a good couple years and we had a huge roster of fighters . Then there was an accident in the building somewhere and a fire destroyed everything and insurance barely covered a thing. Then a couple years ago my mother (thanks mom) told me to get it back up and now here we are.
What sets us apart from all these other lines? We aren’t just based around MMA. It’s not your typical skull and bones bullshit. We are involved in all sorts of physical sports training. Sponsoring bodybuilders and physique competitors as well. Our designs and styles have a more lifestyle and urban/street feel to it. It’s not out of the norm to see us throw you know some type of hip hop influence into our designs or sayings.
We are a small staffed company that can afford to use the best materials for our products and not have to sky rocket our prices to make a profit. We don’t pay attention to our competition. I could care less what they are doing because we are going to set the bar high.
Man, that is awesome and perhaps the most complete answer ever… I love it! Sucks that everything got lost in that fire but great to see you guys back on the scene! Now you reside outside one of the greatest cities in the USA, good old NYC and you are in Jersey if I am correct. How has that culture influenced you in what you do?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: Actually, we are based literally just outside NYC in Jersey. I am looking at the tunnel as we speak. Which makes it easier on us because a huge chunk of my time is spent in the greatest city. New York is the melting pot of the world. There’s just so many different cultures, genres, styles, artists, designers and businesses. What’s great is if you ask another company for help… let’s say for example they have something you were looking for, 9 out of 10 times they will help you. On that note I gotta give a shout out to my boy Peter over at snkrheadnyc. If you’re a sneaker head like me check them out. He is one of those people that has given me tremendous help and never says no. Gotta give respect when respect is due, you know.
See that’s what I love about The City, as bad and as tough of a rep as it gets… If you are there to help others, others will always help you! Why should people take notice of Warfare Inc?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: It’s pretty simple. We are constantly evolving and trying to stay two steps ahead of the game. Right now in muscular development a big thing coming up is blood restriction training and not everyone has them. We designed our own version of them and will have it for arms and legs by next week. We always tweak our equipment to take things up a notch and kind of set a standard.
Also, I never turn down advice from customers. Just this morning when I first got up I had a message from someone. He gave me an idea for a shirt that will work great for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and it was such a good idea I couldn’t say no. I’ll be working on that design this weekend. Another reason is we are always reachable. On the site and social media accounts the contact info is personal cell phones. We can always be reached 24/7.
Bro that’s awesome!!! Not only are you keeping on the edge of what’s going on but you are a company that listens to the people!! Speaking of NYC and us being an MMA based site we got to know each other through some mutual friends like CFFC Stars Jonavin Webb and Shedrick Goodridge and a couple other guys. What got you interested in sponsoring fighters and talk to us about what that role means to you and some of the responsibilities that go into that?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: As far us sponsoring fighters it starts from back when I used to train. We really are about helping out the fighters and furthering their careers. And that also puts us on a different level than other companies. It’s not just give them gear and cut a check. All my guys I’ve developed friendships over the years. These guys know they can call me in the middle of the night if they need anything. Personal or business related. I’m constantly checking their weights, seeing how their camps are going. If they need a change or are looking for something I’ll always be able to get it done for them in a matter of hours. I just drop what I’m doing. It’s all for them! Playing manager without being a manager and taking a cut from them.
Yeah man, I remember us talking about our guy Shedrick Goodridge a couple weeks back, you really do embody the manager role which is pretty awesome! Now there are a couple more fighters and people we may have missed. Talk to us about your roster of people that represent you?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: As far as fighters go…. we got UFC vet Jonavin Webb, who is a long time training partner and friend. Bellator vet Shedrick Goodridge who is also just like one of my boys now. We clown around all the time. Also, Ryan Cafaro who’s a Bellator vet. I’ve trained with him from when he first got into the game. He just had a nice big win over at CFFC. We have bodybuilders as well. NPC champ Zaid Hassen. Who will be getting his IFBB pro card by the end of the year. He is really killing it right now and has taken a fighters approach to his competitions as far as an anytime anywhere and always ready to go. He’s one of my closest friends for almost 20 years. And there is going to be plenty more. We are beefing up our roster as we speak from all sports. When the company was around back in 2010-11 I had a ton of guys and would sponsor everyone. But now I had to be more business minded with it with a lot of guys.
Probably a smarter approach and it seems like you’re taking over quickly! Every fighter out there wants to be sponsored. As a company who is looking to get their name out there and already has some established sponsors, what do you look for in the people and fighters you want to represent the brand?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: Well, I won’t just sponsor anyone. I scout talent all the time even if they aren’t looking at us as a sponsor. Being in this game for the better part of a decade I’ve developed my own talent of spotting guys I know who are going to go far. I like to see how they train. I’ll visit the gyms. Sometimes without them knowing who I am I’ve jumped in and sparred with them to see for myself. Like, I need to know if they hit hard [laughs]. Granted the gym owners may know who I am which gives me access to do a little more research or they will give me a heads up as to who to keep my eye on. I want the guys that take their sport serious! They take their training serious. They take their diet serious. The way they carry themselves. Everything stands out to me. I get calls, messages and emails every other day of people looking for me to sponsor them. Sometimes people just can’t make the cut. But I will give them constructive criticism to change what can possibly help them in the future.
I honestly can’t tell you how much I love this answer! You get in the ring and get your ass kicked just to see if someone lives up to the hype! A while back we interviewed American Villain and they were in the middle of sponsoring a big fight card in Rochester, NY. Is Warfare Inc getting into or planning on getting into that realm of the game as well?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: That’s not in our future. We like to take care of our athletes. I rather have my money going into their pockets instead of a full event. The athletes represent our company. They represent us outside the cage or off the stage. It’s a 24 hour job whether they know it or not. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have good relationships with the leagues though either. Whether it’s CFFC or Ring of Combat or the guys over at Dead Serious. Just to name a few.
Ok, no doubt man! We know your time is valuable so we will hit you up with one final question. What’s the future plans for the business and what kind of stuff can we expect rolling out soon?!?
James Cosenza/Warfare Inc.: We are building an empire here. We just collaborated to help out with Operation Freedom Run/Chris Kyle Memorial Run (American Sniper) and sent them a bunch of gear to raffle off. That’s taking place the last weekend in October down in Texas. We have more athletes coming this way. BJJ sub only competitions are getting bigger by the week! So we are looking at a few guys on that realm and new product lines. We got a big photo shoot in SOHO, NYC coming up. So we will be dropping announcements left and right. everyone has to follow us to stay updated. Thank you guys for your time as well. I’m definitely looking forward to more interviews when the podcast is up.
There you have it fight fans, Warfare Inc is more than just a clothing line. It’s a multi-leveled empire and you should really take notice. We here at Art of MMA have made a couple of purchases and absolutely love everything we got. Very down to earth guys who will tell you exactly how it is but make no mistake, they are here to take over!