Updated: Oct 12, 2021
On a quiet side street in Pawtucket, RI sits an old brick warehouse which at first glance is mostly unremarkable. In fact, unless you were specifically searching for one of the businesses inside, you would likely pass by without even noticing it. However, on the second floor of that old mill building, remarkable things are taking place daily, for that space at 179 Conant Street is home to Tri-Force MMA. Tri-Force has been churning out high level MMA fighters for more than ten years, and after spending an evening there, it is easy to see why.
Most New England MMA readers are familiar with the Tri-Force success stories of Nate Andrews, John Douma, Richie Santiago, Dan Cormier, Leon Davis, and Gary Balletto. These gentlemen have made a name for themselves locally, and in some cases, nationally. However, their success did not come overnight.
Tri-Force Co-Owner, Pete Jeffrey, has been around long enough to remember the early days of local MMA. He was there for the unsanctioned bouts, the fights that took place in boxing rings with no doctors, no athletic commissions, and in most cases, no money! This level of experience has clearly filled Pete with a love and appreciation for the evolution of MMA in our region, and those feelings shine through when you see him interact with his students.
When I first entered Tri-Force MMA, I was greeted by the sound of excited little voices. It was a Tuesday evening, and kids' class was about to begin. I sat quietly in the corner as the adolescent students began their warm up routine, and I was struck with the realization that everyone in the room seemed to know each other. It was immediately evident that Tri-Force promotes a family atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone.