The Story of Brad Riddell's Modern Day Gladiator Capsule

Brad Riddell wants to build an empire.

As a modern day gladiator, it goes with the territory.

The term is one often used to describe mixed martial artists, squaring off in the cage in a battle of wits and skill with a captive audience watching on.

But as Riddell will tell you, not everyone who steps inside the cage deserves to title so often handed down as a blanket term for mixed martial artists.

"They say the UFC's like a modern-day gladiator style, but I wouldn't say every fighter in there's a gladiator," Riddell explains.

"If you look back at gladiators, there was fuel for the fire - gladiators who just went in there and got killed. That's the same in MMA; there's fighters that are in there that just go and get murked or are used as stepping stones, then there are real gladiators that will fight anybody, and I believe I'm one of them."

The UFC lightweight contender has lived up to that title throughout his career in MMA and kickboxing, doing so on the biggest stage in MMA with two impressive wins since joining the UFC.

Now, it's the inspiration behind his collaborative capsule with Australian fightwear brand Engage. The capsule will include boxing gloves, a supporter t-shirt and Engage's world-renowned MMA hybrid shorts, and is set to be released to coincide with Riddell's bout against Alex da Silva at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi in late September

Finding inspiration for the capsule didn't come easy for Riddell, who admits it took him a couple of weeks to land on his idea, but as soon as he thought of the modern-day gladiator idea, the wheels were in motion.

"I got this idea from fans saying I fought like a gladiator," Riddell explains. "Then the whole thing about the Roman nose, I thought 'yeah, gladiator would be a cool theme to go with'.

"It's a really unique fit for me; I feel like it does show who I am.

"Two fights into my UFC career, but about 87 fights into my career so I feel like having my own brand like this is earned. I'm pretty happy to have it."

For Riddell, the theme is about pushing the limits; to never be satisfied with what you've achieved and always working to get to the next level.

"I want to leave this sport with no stone unturned and when I look back I'll think 'mean, that was progress, progress, progress'. I don't want to look back on these times thinking I should have done more, I should have hustled more."

City Kickboxing teammates and fellow Engage-sponsored athletes Israel Adesanya and Kai Kara-France will also be releasing collaborative capsules in the build up to their own fights at UFC 253.

"No one else is doing it," Engage owner Ash Belcastro says of the decision to give the athletes creative control over their own capsules.

"We're looking after our team and it's a way for them to express themselves through Engage and being creative. Martial Arts are a form of art, after all."

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