Well, the good news is that no one was seriously injured. That’s about the best thing one can say about the Triller Fight Club Saturday a la carte menu at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.
MMA legend Vitor Belfort knocked out former 58-year-old heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield in the main event and Anderson Silva continued to build up his stock on the boxing side of his post-UFC fighting career in one of the weirder fight cards in recent memory.
Let’s take a closer look at what we learned from following this South Florida circus.
1. Triller is the bottom of the combat sports food chain
This is a distinction generally reserved for the multiple unarmed boxing promotions that have sprung up in recent years, giving the chance of a last paycheck to faded fighters of all fighting disciplines before retirement. But Triller created a whole new level of gross by being so willing to bet on a senior at Holyfield to replace Oscar De La Hoya, 47, on six days’ notice, even if that meant – and sadly, it did. did. – move the card to Florida with late notice after the California commission refused to authorize Holyfield. But if deploying fighters who are past their expiration dates was the promotion’s only sin that night, there wouldn’t be nearly as much gossip. Somehow, Triller pulled off that and a lot more bizarre and surreal, including several live music acts, a video showing Snoop Dogg rapping with the late Marvin Gate, Donald Trump and his son, Don. Jr., on an alternate comment feed and his regular team of announcers drinking alcohol (which was a departure from comedian Pete Davidson joining Snoop Dogg to smoke marijuana on a recent show).
Additionally, Belfort cut a pro wrestling style promo in the interview ahead of his fight urging Americans to make their country “awesome again” and he called out both Jake Paul and Canelo Alvarez after his win, with a streak swearing as his family stood behind him, nodding happily. Executives at the blatantly intoxicated Triller also interrupted Belfort’s challenge to Paul by saying he would offer the winner $ 30 million. In all fairness, boxing history is filled with far too many extreme moments to try and grab some pearls and make Triller feel bad for the sport too much. There is only a limited amount of lipstick you can put on a pig. But one would be hard-pressed to find those many bizarre, miserable, downright scary moments that all happen on the same night without feeling like it’s a giant leap in the wrong direction.
2. Let’s be happy for Holyfield, it wasn’t much worse
Forget for a moment how fit he looked standing inside the ring, any state commission that would have allowed Holyfield, who was a week away from turning 59, boxing a capable slugger with a story also decorated in performance enhancing drug issues as Belfort is criminal. For everyone involved, let alone Holyfield himself, let’s just be thankful that his TKO loss in the first round was quick and largely painless. Holyfield argued after the fact that the knockdown he suffered before being stopped on his feet was more the effect of a push than a clean landing. He also said on several occasions that he was not injured. Still, it was obvious from the start that this was not a competitive matchup. Belfort had fought at the elite level of MMA just three years ago. Holyfield, meanwhile, had been retired for a decade after a 27-year professional career that featured 57 fights and countless damage racked up for one of boxing’s toughest warriors. In this fight, for less than pay, there was simply nothing to be gained. Any level of debate over whether referee Sam Burgos made the right choice to stop the fight as Belfort rushed towards Holyfield as he took cover behind his gloves must stop immediately. Old guy fights always seem fun in theory, but will inevitably become sad and dangerous if the promoters keep trying to cash in on them. The best thing that happened that night was Holyfield left on his own.
3. Think of Anderson Silva as the new face of the celebrity boxing era
It might be fair to say that the current trend in circus fights and celebrity crossovers started when YouTube stars and influential social media brothers Logan and Jake Paul decided to throw their hats in the ring. just a few years ago. The two have taken the sport seriously enough lately that each has headlined a Showtime pay-per-view fight and become a legitimate boxing draw. But neither appear to be as dangerous in this bubble at the moment as Silva, the 46-year-old UFC legend. Three months after his anger at disgraced former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Silva set the internet on fire by knocking out his former UFC champion Tito Ortiz on Saturday with a right counter-hand just 81 seconds of the first round.
Silva (3-1, 2 KOs) transitioned between combat sports with apparent ease and retained a fair amount of speed and reflexes to accompany his boxing-ready footwork. Silva has looked so good, in fact, through two fights this calendar year that one has to wonder, given his size and speed, if he’s too dangerous for one of the brothers Paul seeks to fight against him. Either way, the event would likely be a blockbuster. Of all the performers, MMA fighters, and ex-boxers who made it to the ring during this bubble, Silva seems the most equipped to keep doing damage if he decides to fight.