Mike Treadwell had trained MMA, and he didn’t want younger brother Thomas getting beaten up by any old stranger when he got into the sport. So he volunteered to do it himself.
Now, a Canadian MMA promotion is giving them a place to fight. The Treadwells will make their professional debuts – against each other – at Maximum Fighting Championship 37 on May 10 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The fight’s main card airs live on AXS TV. Curiously, the bro vs. bro matchup currently is slated for the event’s untelevised preliminary card.
Everyone involved with the unusual fight says this isn’t a publicity stunt – and the brothers want to be MMA fighters. Sure, they fought like any other siblings growing up, but now they’re going to do it for real.
“If you’re going to get your butt handed to you, it might as well be by me,” Mike Treadwell told Thomas when the idea came about this past November.
The promotion, in turn, told them to “take Christmas and talk it over.” Once they decided to do it, hiding the plans from their family proved a tougher fight.
“We were going to wait until everything was announced, and Thomas and I were talking about it one day and Dad walked into the room,” Mike Treadwell told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ So we had to tell him.”
Mike said their dad was angry at Thomas but later laughed about it to him.
“I think that’s because I’m older and he doesn’t want to upset me,” he said. “Mom knows about it, but we’re not saying a whole lot because every time it comes up, she starts crying. She hates me for it. She thinks it’s not nice that I’m going to hit my brother.”
MMA has known feuds between brothers. MMA legends and adoptive siblings Ken and Frank Shamrock almost fought years after a nasty falling out. UFC vets Joe and Dan Lauzon briefly weren’t on speaking terms. In the gym, current UFC welterweight contender Nick Diaz certainly has no love for younger brother Nate, though their rivalry ends when sparring does.
Mike Treadwell said this is pretty normal for his family.
“I want to start something with a large explosion,” he said.
At the very least, it sounds like there should be fireworks at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. The family – sans Mom – decided middle brother Russ Treadwell should corner Thomas, who just began training seriously.
Also, Mike, who works in transportation, has 10 years on the 20-year-old Thomas, who fixes Zambonis during his day job.
Technically, Mike “qualifies for old-man strength,” according to MFC media relations director Scott Zerr, who came up with the idea with the eldest brother. Zerr said his phone and email have been blowing up since the announcement of the fight.
“It’s probably the most inquiries we’ve had for any fight that I can remember in 12 years of working for the MFC,” he said.
There’s just one question, though: Does Dad get the winner?
“Russ might,” Mike said. “Dad won’t. … I’ve already broken his back. It was a complete accident. We were in the kitchen, and there was alcohol involved. He decided he wanted to drop to his knees and punch me in the kneecap. I put him into a choke, and he tried to stand up and snapped his back.”
That settles that, but what happens once the punches stop flying on May 10?
“I give him a hug, and we go for beers,” said Mike.
For the latest on MFC 37, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.