Triller Fight Club is a combat sports league founded by Ryan Kavanaugh and Bobby Sarnevesht, co-founders of Triller, a music-based video-sharing social network. The concept behind Triller Fight Club, which counts Snoop Dogg as a co-founder, is to merge two of the 17-to-27 demographic’s favorite pastimes: music and combat sports, which Kavanaugh and Sarnevesht refer to as the “culture-graphic.”
Viewers attending the TrillerVerz III event this weekend at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will not only get a taste of Triller Fight Club’s future, but also at co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh’s vision for the future of entertainment geared toward younger audiences.
Triller Fight Club’s debut match, between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. in November 2020, drew 1 million views after being packaged together and distributed on pay-per-view on cable television. It included a battle between former NBA slam dunk champion Nate Robinson and YouTuber-turned-fighter Jake Paul, in addition to the two boxing luminaries. Musical performances by musicians like five-time Grammy Award winner Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and French Montana were interspersed between fights.
Another part of the TrillerVerz multi-day events is the rap battle. TrillerVerz III is a two-day event that will include a fight card featuring up-and-coming New York-area boxers, a musical performance by DJ Super Cat & Friends, and a grand finale rap duel involving hip-hop veterans Big Daddy Kane and KRS-ONE.
Triller has data showing that 17- to 27-year-olds are interested in boxing and are talking about it online, but they aren’t watching it since the sport hasn’t altered the way it looks in a very long time, Ryan Kavanaugh said in a recent interview. He explained, “Boxing is attempting to sell these youngsters their father’s Oldsmobile. They don’t want to go behind the wheel of their dad’s Oldsmobile.”
The TrillerVerz event this weekend will represent a shift away from the early matchups between big-name but older competitors, which gave Triller Fight Club unrivaled launch exposure, and toward highly competitive, title-worthy battles. These are the types of fights that will continue to underpin Triller Fight Club events in the future. Triller understands what the market wants – competitive bouts with interesting boxers paired with top-notch musical performances and jaw-dropping spectacle – and he feels there is a better way forward. Triller feels that the fighters on this weekend’s show will be among tomorrow’s contenders.
Building A New Platform
Ryan Kavanaugh and Triller Fight Club seek to bring fresh vitality to the boxing world by drawing on his expertise as a well-known producer in the film business who is known for his ability to create a visually appealing product.
“What we’re attempting to do is build a new platform, Ryan Kavanaugh says. “We’re working on a new program that will reintroduce fun to boxing. Boxing, in my opinion, is first and foremost entertainment. We aim to combine boxing with musical acts to create not just a new platform, but also a new audience. Boxing is in desperate need of a jolt of adrenaline. That is the goal I have set for myself.”