Bekim Trenova on building FNT (Fight Series) and staying true as a creative
Real G’s move in silence and for Bekim Trenova, being the mastermind behind New York’s underground fight scene isn’t something to tweet about.
It’s a gift of live entertainment that has been opening up doors for street kids and creatives from all different backgrounds for almost a decade. After a short hiatus, Trenova’s FNT (Fight Series) is about to set Brooklyn on fire on May 18.
Born in Georgia, Trenova relocated to New York after being scouted in a mall by a modeling agent. While traveling the world was dope, Trenova’s creative mindset yearned for more and he quickly found himself being the hype-machine at the center of the city’s party scene.
“I point-blank did not a damn thing in high school but socialize, I just have a very strategic brain in mapping out social life. When I moved to New York, I was always hosting and being social and one day I was joking around with some friends and we ended up throwing a boxing match. I just thought, we can put this together and we did. Then I went on this whole ride of throwing underground fights in New York and it was the hottest party.”
FNT (previously known as Friday Night Throwdown) fuses nightlife and fight culture. Trenova birthed an unmatched experience that merged different groups together to enjoy a night of fights, music, and art that you could only know about by being there.
You’d see everyone from shorty in the latest Dior ad, street kids ready to clang n bang, and the local artsy kid building his portfolio. The fights weren’t sanctioned, so every throwdown was spontaneous and by word-of-mouth.
With the streets buzzing, Trenova dropped all of his savings to put FNT on the road at SXSW. He aimed to get a TV show in the works to showcase the wild ride which put the event on pause and left peeps wondering.
“It’s never really stopped for me. My last fight was 3 ½ years ago and people will be like ‘So why did it stop?’ They don’t know that for a year and a half I did a JV with a production company, packaged up 4 hour-long rough cut episodes, got signed with William Morris and then pitched it to every outlet and TV channel.”
When timing didn’t seem right for the show, Trenova knew that getting the event sanctioned was the next best step to elevate FNT.
“It’s not like I can just walk into a bar and be like ‘HEY! You wanna fight tomorrow?’ It’s bloodwork, training, weights and coaches. I found a really cool matchmaker who really believes in the project and has two major fight companies already, NYFE and Killer Instinct”
That cool matchmaker is Mike Washington, one of the most respected figures in the fight world period.
“We speak this language together that a lot of people can’t because they haven’t thrown fights.”
Back in the day, FNT would have homies join the fight card the day of, but this time around there will only be sanctioned fighters on the card.
“Throwing sanctioned fights are no joke. That was one of the reasons why this took so long to get together. If you want 8 fights, you need to have 10-13 fights in the air. On a real fight night, someone’s hand gets hurt, an ankle gets twisted”.
On top of getting the ill co-sign from the fight world, Trenova has partnered with creative agency, MATTE Projects to produce the event.
The MATTE squad is on the perfect trajectory to team up with FNT and have been friends with FNT’s lead man for over a decade. Trenova has always been a fan of MATTE events like the Full Moon Festival and their Black parties. Plus, the MATTE team were regular guests at FNT smokers. So, the collab was a long time coming.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team, MATTE was like fuck yeah, let’s go!”
In the midst of getting FNT back on the ground, Trenova worked as a real-estate developer during the day but it wasn’t exactly his steez.
“As a creative person, it kills me. I don’t consider it living. There’s great upside and financial gain but I more-so look forward to throwing fights and activating my creative juices.”
While the adrenaline gained from managing multiple ventures fuels Trenova, it does have it’s setbacks.
“It’s a good and bad thing. I’ve learned a lot. When you’re pitching a TV show, developing clothing brands, managing music acts like Dorfex Bos, doing real estate and putting on Fight Night, it’s a catch-22. You’re doing so much and learning so much but not necessarily mastering. You’re getting good at everything, but at a much slower pace than if you just dove into one thing and really gave it your all. It’s the millennial piece in us, you know? My interests have been my school and it’s how I learn”
Trenova’s school of turning your loves into your reality is more than just a mindset, it’s a message he aims to get across to everyone he meets. Life isn’t simple, it’s a fight, it’s a party and so is FNT.
Pull up to FNT’s next Fight Night this Friday in Brooklyn on May 18.