In New York, the first week of Feb. means three things: failed resolutions, REALLY brick ass weather and New York Fashion Week. Last Friday, FNT flipped the script on all of that as the fight party took over 30 Wall Street for the fourth installation of its fight series and probably the most poppin’ party of 2019 thus far.
FNT’s first event of the year also marked a special milestone – 10 whole years since founder/ringmaster, Bekim Trenova decided to throw a boxing match with friends that eventually bloomed into the cultural event, bridging the gap between fight culture and nightlife.
Just steps away from the New York Stock Exchange, hundreds of eager fight fans, creatives, and baddie models lined up to see another night of addictive madness.
The ground-level venue was raw, rustic, and embodied the perfect canvas for the production that goes into fight night. Similar to earlier volumes, this venue had an intimacy that made you feel as if you were a part of the show rather than just a spectator.
The usual suspects collaborated with Trenova to bring the night together; MATTE Projects, Mike Washington, Tom Sconzo and the ISKA sanctioning team. The night was set with a stacked card of MMA and Muay Thai fights along with music performances by Flipp Dinero, Malibu Mitch, Venus X, and M!NT. Sheeesh.
Trenova set the tone for the night early on the mic during the opener. Now when a ski mask-clad Bekim tells you to turn the fuck up…YOU TURN THE FUCK UP.
Starting off with the fights–they BANGED! When I say they banged, I mean each fight added a different X-factor to the night that drew you in more and more. The momentum of the night increased fight after fight and the slick moves from Team Kitty Koalition during intermissions amplified it.
The fight card featured local fighters from Renzo Gracie, Evolution Muay Thai, Team Demolition, Striking 101, Red Kickboxing, and Progressive Martial Arts. It’s fashion week, fighters gotta drip too-both red and blue corners were draped up in Under Armour gear and G&S gloves.
The shocker of the night came by Olympic bronze medalist and wrestler, Hamdy Abdelwahab with a 15-second K.O. on Jamal Pottinger in the first round. Abdelwahab trains under the legendary Daniel Gracie who is set and locked in with FNT for future fights.
The main event was no sleeper either, Diego Jagessar and Will Cavali lit up the ring with Jagessar earning a technical TKO at the bell. The night also included a drumline performance by Brooklyn Express Drumline which was too lit for me for me to put in words.
Where else have you heard of a fight event having a drumline?? It plays not only to Trenova’s Georgia roots but also to the artistic athleticism that is showcased all throughout FNT. This is where FNT bridges the gap between cultures.
During intermissions when people typically check their phones, FNT hits your senses with something you would never expect, something that may be new to you, but will prompt you to chat with the stranger next to you, build a new connection and new experience. New York needs that shit.
One of the most intriguing elements of FNT is the unique room it draws. There’s something for everyone- fight fans, fashion kids, music heads, you name it.
Fight night saw the likes of combat sports vet and BATS-TOI founder, Mario Mercado, Daniel Gracie, Overtime Larry/a>, Binx, amongst others from the creative and fight communities in the city.
The night certainly set the precedent for FNT’s stacked year. The fight circus heads back to LA, Miami, and Chi-Town to close out the first half of the year.
I still wonder if those brokers have any clue how hot that block was that night…