Triad Combat: Boxing vs MMA Preview
By Henry Walter
Tonight will see Triad Combat stage their first show featuring a new hybrid rule set mix of boxing and MMA.
The event in Arlington, Texas pits several veteren boxers against renowned MMA fighters. Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir takes on former world heavyweight challenger Kubrat Pulev in the show’s main event.
Mir, now 42, says the new rule set will help bridge the gap between the two disciplines.
“I’m excited about it because it allows the boxing guys and the MMA guys to compete on a more even playing field.”
The rules for the contests are interesting. The combatants will fight in a triangular ring with small open-fingered gloves to allow for easier holding. As in MMA, clinching is both allowed and encouraged. No punches or hand strikes are off limit with regular punching, backfists, slaps and even hammerfists are permitted.
To differentiate the event from regular MMA and perhaps encouraged more striking ground fighting is not allowed and kicking of any kind will also fall outside the ruleset.
The result of the hybrid rules is, on paper at least, seven fascinating fights pitting boxers against MMA fights with a team factor also introduced to see which group prevails overall.
Former world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs is captaining and mentoring the boxers, though not competing himself. Former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is performing the same role for the mixed martial artists and the two almost came to blows at one of the pre-fight press conference and they had to be separated.
It will be very interesting to see which group prevails. In the main event Kubrat Pulev perhaps has to be the favourite. Even at 40, and having not fought since a 2020 ninth round loss to Anthony Joshua, his striking skills should be too much for Frank Mir, though he will probably have to settle for a points win.
Alexander Flores’ boxing pedigree and renowned power should see him to an early KO win over MMA contender Mitt Mitriome in the co-main event.
Former WBC boxing champion Sakio Bika looks made for this type of mixed rules contest and should adapt well. He should get past former MMA star Mike Perry on points but will have to be wary of the laters power.
The full line up of bouts is listed below and my money will be on the boxers to prevail overall, something in the order of five bouts to two.
Frank Mir vs. Kubrat Pulev
Matt Mitrione vs. Alexander Flores
Mike Perry vs. Sakio Bika
Derek Campos vs. Brian Vera
Albert Tumenov vs. Scott Sigmon
Steven Graham vs. Henry Gigliotti
Alexa Culp vs. Angelina Hoffschneider