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MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 126’s top bouts. Today, we look at the rest of the main card.
UFC Fight Night 126 takes place Sunday at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
+ 2x Golden Gloves champ
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt
+ 3 KO victories
+ 5 submission wins
+ 6 first-round finishes
+ Consistent pace and pressure
+ High-volume striker
^ Puts together punches nicely
+ Strikes well off the breaks
+ Improved clinch work
+ Underrated grappling ability
+ Good getup urgency and technics
+ Regional MMA title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 7 KO victories
+ 5 submission win
+ 7 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Dangerous left hand
^ Coming forward or off the counter
+ Improved takedown ability
^ From clinch or caught kicks
+ Strong inside the clinch
+ Solid top game
+ Effective ground striker
Initially bucking to be in the main event, Vick has been a man on a mission when it comes to rankings and respect. Now, with a hometown showcase before him, Vick will attempt to further make his name known to those ranked above him.
Looking to crash that party is Trinaldo, a respected warrior who is not easy to make a statement over. And after winning his last eight of nine fights, he, too, will have a strong case to move up in the ranks with a win here.
Starting off on the feet, we have a pairing of two skilled strikers who can do a little bit of everything.
Trinaldo, the southpaw, will likely have power on his side. Initially a come-forward pocket puncher, Trinaldo has steadily evolved his game since stepping onto the scene, sticking-and-moving when he needs to.
Trinaldo has also developed a counter game in recent years, utilizing his already-dangerous left hand to make oncoming opponents pay. Coupled with his hard Thai kicks, and the 14-year pro presents a formidable force on the feet.
Nevertheless, the Brazilian will need to respect what’s coming back at him when he squares off with Vick.
Despite the fact that he is a 6-foot-3-inch lightweight, Vick is one of the more active movers among his contemporaries in regards to footwork and volume. Utilizing lateral movement, Vick evades a majority of strikes and shot attempts by nature, as his length allows him to counter from various ranges.
Working well off of his long jab, Vick will either pull and return punches with his opponent, or put together 3-4 piece combinations. Vick is also deceptively accurate with his right hand, adjusting the angles on his crosses or going to an uppercut when appropriate.
That said, it will be interesting to see how Vick approaches Trinaldo, a fighter who just needs one clean counter to change the course of the fight.
With that in mind, I will also be curious to see how each fighter fares in the clinch.
Both men have made quiet improvements in this area, whether it be their awareness to underhooks and grips, or their ability to get off strikes in close and off the breaks.
However, I do feel that Trinaldo will be the better wrestler of the two. And considering that the Brazilian will have more of a motive to take things to the floor, then takedowns could be a developing storyline in this fight.
Despite being more measured with his offensive takedowns in recent years, Trinaldo still demonstrates the ability to change levels or initiate wrestling scrambles. If Trinaldo can score takedowns at the right times, then he could nullify Vick’s momentum on the feet while helping him curry favor with the judges.
Still, taking down Vick may involve more than just watching out for his guillotine choke. Not only has the 7-year pro steadily shown improvements to his wrestling fundamentals, but he is also hard to hold down.
Don’t let the lanky frame of Vick fool you; the athletic Texan uses it well.
Whether he is utilizing his limbs as grapevine entanglements or propelling his deceptively strong hips into sweeps, Vick stays active and intelligent in regards to what options he is exercising. And regardless of his success with submissions or sweeps, he will consistently work his way to the fence so that he can stand safely, something that will serve him well here.
The oddsmakers and public seem to feel confident in the Texan, listing Vick -230 and Trinaldo +190 as of this writing.
To be honest, this line kind of surprised me. I believe that Vick should be the deserved favorite, but this has all the feelings of a trap fight when seeing a steadily widening margin.
Vick is 1-1 against UFC southpaws and got dropped in both of those bouts. I could certainly see a scenario where Vick gets caught with a crushing counter left from Trinaldo, changing the course of the contest for good.
However, I ultimately have a hard time picking against the fight-to-fight improvements of Vick, who is showing upgrades in all areas as of late. If his 39-year-old foe cannot find the finish in the first half of this fight, then I see Vick’s output and pressure paying big dividends as this battle wears on. The pick is Vick, who I see scoring a third-round submission from the front headlock position, after surviving a few scares early, of course.
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