DFW Music News

A New Combat Sport Called Combat Triad Is Bringing Its Fighters and Metallica to Arlington

Two fighters demonstrate a spinning back fist in an instructional video for triad combat, a new, full contact fighting sport that will make its debut at Globe Life Field on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Two fighters demonstrate a spinning back fist in an instructional video for triad combat, a new, full contact fighting sport that will make its debut at Globe Life Field on Saturday, Nov. 27. screenshot from YouTube
Getting in a fight is one of the most metal things you can do at a heavy metal concert. Now, someone is finally combining the two in a way that doesn't involve felony assault charges.

Triller Fight Club started a new professional fighting league with a technique called triad combat, a two-on-two combat sport that incorporates elements of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA).

The sports entertainment group is holding a premiere sports, music and entertainment event at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Saturday, Nov. 2,7 that will offer triad combat fights, a special appearance and live performance by the heavy metal gods Metallica and "other superstar surprise guests," according to a statement released by Triller.

"We're leveling the playing field between boxing and MMA," says Ryan Kavanaugh, one of the co-founders of Triller Fight Club.

Triller Fight Club launched last year and has hosted boxing matches featuring names like heavyweight boxing champions Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, YouTube star Jake Paul and Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters Ben Askren and Frank Mir.

Triad combat is a new attempt to reinvigorate interest in fighting sports. The fight style incorporates the punching and weaving techniques of boxing with the grappling and holding moves of MMA in a timed and staged setting that allows for faster action and more dynamic sights.

"It incorporates everything we learned," Kavanaugh says. "The first is it needs to be faster, like a video game."
The equipment used in the fight mixes the two combat sports. Combatants wear boxing gloves during the match with finger openings to allow for grapples and holds. The ring is in the shape of a triangle to limit the fighting area and encourage more competitive action during the shorter two-minute rounds.

"The boxing guys have the competitive advantage, but the MMA guys have an advantage because their fingers are open," Kavanaugh says. "There are no kicks, but you can hold and can do hammer and back fists. The holding changes the whole ball game."

The rankings are also listed as individuals and teams to encourage a "team element" to fights throughout the season, he says.

"We turned it into a team sport," Kavanaugh says. "Not only do the fighters win individually but with each event we have, there's a team winner at the end."

Triller is also leaning just as hard into the entertainment element of the show with appearances by groups such as Metallica. Celebrity guests who attended and participated in the events for past Triller Fight Club boxing matches include rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Justin Bieber, Saturday Night Live star and comedian Pete Davidson and even former President Donald Trump.

"You make sure that the way you're constructing the show is that it's a show, not just a fight," Kavanaugh says. "We do that by bringing in very relevant artists and people and make it fun."

Kavanaugh says he can't reveal who else may show up at the Nov. 27 event except that "most of my celebrity friends have asked if they can get tickets." 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.