Frank Trigg On Rizin/ FITE Saga: “Gonna be hard for Joe and I to work with FITE again”
Frank Trigg is a UFC Hall of Famer and has challenged for the UFC welterweight strap on a couple of occasions. He also has been expanding into the world of Hollywood with a lot of stunt work to his credit but Trigg has also been branching out into more speaking roles. Trigg also has been known to make appearances for Impact Wrestling, doing so even just a few months ago alongside names like Stephan Bonnar and Ken Shamrock. Twinkle Toes is truly a busy individual that covered all of these topics and more with me during our interview. Below is a transcription from my talk with Trigg on the Rizin commentary restructuring situation.
I was also kind of curious with the commentary situation there with Rizin because I think myself and a lot of other people who avidly follow Rizin were kind of confused a little bit when yourself and Showdown Joe weren’t really announced for the broadcast and they kind of went with, Matt Striker, which seems to be an initiative rooted in FITE’s end of it more than a Rizin decision. So like, when did you sort of get wind that you wouldn’t have been doing commentary for that last card? What was that whole timeline?
“We weren’t really sure. They weren’t really sure as far as what they were telling us but you have to also understand that sometimes with these Japanese organizations, a lot of it is misinformation and half information. They have to make sure just culturally speaking, they made sure that everything was done and completed before they let any information out. Like you’re never gonna be like, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about doing this project.’ When I’m thinking about building this tire, you won’t tell me about your tire. You’re just going to keep working on it until the tire’s done.”
Frank Trigg continued, “So when I’m dealing with Rizin, they kind of gave us a hint maybe a month before that it might be just for this one show. And about two weeks it’s, ‘we’re definitely not using you. FITE TV definitely wants to use Striker, that’s the route we’re going to go. You guys are out.'”
“And then the last thing we got, of course, is what any good boss would say that, ‘hey, we’re trying to get you back on hopefully the next one turns around.’ But my feeling is that the way that the costs run for the commentating team, you have to fly Joe and I in hotel rooms, our per diem, all that adds up. And I think that it came out of a financial situation where Rizin is not making any money on the American broadcast.”
Frank Trigg continued, “So FITE TV’s not paying a very big amount, right. So they were losing money by having us come in…. I don’t know, that’s for sure. But this is kind of what I put together is that FITE TV is like ‘we’re going to pay you whatever we pay you, you know for to be broadcast on our platform. But then we’re also going to pay for Striker to come in, because if it’s our guy, we’ll pay for him to go, and we’ll pay his per diem.’ You know all the stops that because our guy, but if we use Trigg and Ferraro then you guys have to pay for all that to make sense.”
“So it comes down to a financial situation without us. So now we’re just not part of the broadcast. My feeling is the way FITE TV has it worked out we’re gonna be using FITE going forward. And to be quite honest, the way it came down was once they made the decision and how the feeds went. Because obviously my assistant comes with me when I travel, and she helps run the Twitter feeds and the live events. So there’s a live Twitter question and answer thing going on. My sister’s doing it right. Well, none of that happened this last time.”
FITE TV and Financial Matters
Frank Trigg continued, “And my feeling is the way that it went down, it’s gonna be hard for Joe and I to work with FITE again. Because of the way they kind of pushed it around and circumvented us to go into this whole squared away. So I don’t think even if Mr. Sakakibara was like ‘no, we definitely want Trigg and Joe back in there. We want them to handle the broadcasting forward. We found a way to have it paid for or whatever.’ I think FITE TV might have a little pushback on that as well.”
“Really push to have Striker keep doing the events. Now, unfortunately, because if I’m not working, I don’t stay up late at night. I didn’t see it. Didn’t hear it. I didn’t get any of the results of what happened in the last thing. And nobody has reached out to me to say, ‘oh, by the way, this is good. This is bad.'”
“I have no information at all about how the broadcast went. So if there’s no information, that tells you that it went pretty well. It tells you that there’s enough views and that as far as the platform is concerned, they’re happy. Because they had enough views on it for the pay-view-buy. And as far as the promotion is concerned, Mr. Sakakibara is happy, because the way the fees process out. So my assumption is that going forward, It’s going to be the way it was this last fight. Going forward for the next six fights or so that they have for the rest of year.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.