You can’t accuse Triller of not making a big noise in boxing and MMA promotion. And with the Triller Triad Combat, they’re really shouting. At the end of some coruscating comments for seeming inability to bring Lopez v Kambosos to the table, a fight which DAZN stepped into and delivered, the company has been making big noise in hybrid or entertainment-based boxing events.
Triller Triad Combat may have been the biggest.
The Break Down
MMA v Boxing. Or Boxing v MMA if you like.
Each team is led by scions of those 2 sports.
Shannon Briggs leading one team. Rampage Jackson leading the other.
A boxer v an MMA fighter for each fight.
Scores kept to find out which sport was better, goddammit!
Well, on this night.
The ring is a triangle. To make it look different.
Oh, and a concert by Metallica.
Yep, told you Triller did things a little differently. That will get the crowds in. Metallica is v.v. famous.
How Did It Look?
Well, this report is about the main event of Triller Triad Combat, so I haven’t seen all the fights yet, but it looked pretty good. The ring walks weren’t huge, but the red and silver lights looked good as they flashed around and Michael Buffer added some big fight atmosphere with his announcement.
One thing though. ‘Tallica were on a stage which was at the edge of the arena, well away from the three-sided ring, so when the camera pulled back to see the crowds, they were focused on the stage. Which meant their backs were to the ring. Not a great look for the sporting action and really showed how that may have been a hybrid too far.
What About That Main Event, Then?
It was Frank Mir v Kubrat Pulev.
I haven’t seen Mir for a while in a ring or octagon, but it looks like he last fought in an MMA competition in 2019 for Bellator 231 and he’s had 1 pro boxing match which he lost. Pulev isn’t ascendant, but he’s fought more recently, against Anthony Joshua in 2020, a fight in which he was knocked out in the 9th round. So this isn’t even Jake Paul or his brother. It isn’t even as if they’re on the way up or at the top. Who said washed up? Not me, but the main event didn’t set me salivating. And it didn’t last long. Scheduled for 9 2-minute rounds, they only needed one.
In this Triller Triad, they were able to lock up, that was in the rules, so were every punch combo including spinning backfists but no kicks, takedowns, trips, or submissions were allowed. Seems to favor boxers, eh? Well, these two did lock up, but in a cursory fashion as if they were greeting each other with a manly one-touch-then-release hug. Mir didn’t look sure, his footwork was a little flat and sure enough, even though he tried some head movement, Pulev got a punch through. Mir looked hurt and instantly clinched, but felt 2 overhand rights, not even huge punches, but they bothered him alright.
Then Mir did something odd, he inched towards his opponent sideways. Pulev was having none of that, attached a punch to his chin which wasn’t powerful but very accurate. It had an odd effect. Mir stumbled. He turned from Maybe Mews onto Rubberleg Street. He was out on his feet, swaying. It didn’t look good at all. And referee Dan Miragliotta seemed mesmerized as if Mir was a swaying cobra. Another Pulev punch landed and that snapped Dan out of his reverie. He stepped in and it was stopped.
How Did That Main Event Look?
It wasn’t long.
It wasn’t good.
It didn’t look like either combatant knew really why they were there.
That odd knockout will be viewed and reviewed, though.
Pulev got a garish red and gold belt for his troubles. He’s now the Triller Triad Combat Heavyweight champ. Well, he’s worked his way up. Or something. Afterward, Briggs and Jackson went at it verbally. MMA was ahead on the scoreboard by some margin, so Briggs did what he always does these days, stirs the blood. After Jackson implied that Mir was injured before the fight and Pulev told Jackson that boxing was on another level to MMA, Rampage seemed to take the furor to heart.
He didn’t commit to fighting Shannon, even though host Nick Cannon strongly suggested they would. They had previous. At the weigh-in, no less. Jackson then commented something to the effect of being sick of this, which sounded like he was cheesed off with the event and ended things on an odd note.
We still had Metallica to look forward to though! Yersss…
What Claims Have Been Made?
Well, Jackson told MMA Junkie, ‘It’s something new; I think it’s here to stay,” He told them after the event concluded. “I think the UFC is gonna be worried about this. I don’t know what Dana White’s response is gonna be.’ Laughter? Maybe not and I haven’t seen the other matches but people were controlling the narrative afterward to say that this was the future.
Check out Mir’s comments to the BBC, ‘I’m excited about it because it allows the boxing guys and the MMA guys to compete on a more even playing field’. It didn’t look like it was a level playing field against Pulev. It looked like quicksand.
Lots are saying the Triller Triad is the future, but the idea of putting one discipline against another to see who comes out on top is an early combat idea that developed into UFC, a place in which hybrid combatants, those who are good at so many things, are the norm.
Wasn’t that what this was? I need to see the other matches and will, but the overmatching and outcome of the main event, plus the ‘and now, Metallica!’ feel made it seem like a one-off try.
Good For Triller?
They’re shaking up the boxing and MMA worlds. In both of these sports, we have limited promoters and I’ve certainly heard several boxing podcasts which bemoan this situation. Triller is seen as upstarts, even DAZN followed the accepted ‘rules’ of boxing promotion, for goodness sake!
So Triller shakes it up. Badlefthook reported some legal activity around the triangular ring concept, ‘Bareknuckle outfit BYB Extreme Fighting Series holds a patent on the “Trigon” and, after previously expressing their unhappiness with Triller’s move, have now filed suit…’ Triller really are interesting to cover for sports journalists.
Whether they’ve overreached themselves, we’ll only know when the PPV and subscription results are in. But I certainly was interested enough to subscribe to Triller Fight Club. I’ll bet lots of others did, too.