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Of Backflips and Beatdowns Motorcycle Stunts Meet MMA Fights

Terrill Bracken is the man behind a strange marriage of beatdowns and backflips.

Back in 2011 the Montana resident decided it was time to combine two of his favorite spectator sports — MMA fighting and motorcycles jumping.

What he came up with, and we leave you to decided if it’s a work of genius or madness, is “Backflips and Beatdowns,” a night of MMA bouts and stunt-crazy motorcycle jumps.  Oh, but it’s more than that, my friends, the  jumps are sent directly over the fight ring, and once every event, the riders  jump over the ring while the MMA fight is in progress.

Bracken, a law enforcement officer and Montana MMA promoter, does this little bit of madness through his Fusion Fight League. The FFL has been an MMA touchstone around Billings, Montana for the last few years, and Bracken says he got the idea for Backflips and Beatdowns while shooting the bull with one of his buddies, stunt rider Tyler Johnson.

Johnson is the owner of Octane Addictions, a motorcycle event promotional company.

“Tyler and I got to talking one day, and decided the two things would be the perfect blend of excitement,” Bracken says. “We’ve done two events so far, and for the next one we plan to incorporate snowmobiles.”

During it’s initial run, Backflips and Beatdowns drew around 2,000 fans and the second incarnation of the event drew 3,000. Bracken says the event also raised more than $100,00 for charity and the next version is scheduled for Sept. 15.

But some folks think the event might be, well, a touch dangerous.

“There has been some negative feedback. But those people who have criticized it are doing so without all the facts. Some have said that it looks like a three-ring circus, but I think there’s a little jealousy there,” Bracken said. “People need to know that there were 15 fights in Backflips and Beatdowns II, but in only one of them did we jump a fight while it was in progress. And it was an amateur fight, not pro. The fighters knew what was happening and asked to be there. The safety of everyone involved is our main concern. It has to be safe, because the city attorney has to sign off on it before it can be presented in that arena.”

And some fight-game aficionados are none too pleased.

“That’s a little ironic coming from MMA fans,” Bracken said. “The sport is based on thinking differently and doing things out of the box. So it’s a bit hypocritical of them to bad-mouth us.”

At any rate, you can check out the Fusion Fight League Facebook pages and a web site…


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