Fellow MMA fans, a barn-burner of a showdown is coming your way courtesy of the insanely talent rich 155 lb. division of the UFC. Two of the organization’s hottest prospects, Bobby Green and Abel Trujillo, will be facing off come early February, in what could easily turn out to be a fight of the year candidate. Though neither fighter is currently ranked, rest assured, these are names you will be hearing a lot more of in years to come. In addition to the fact that both fighters seem possessed of immense talent and potential, the stylistic match-up is enough to make Bruce Buffer’s suit wrinkle. We’re in for a treat.
Bobby Green is undefeated in his young UFC career, tapping Jacob Volkman and decision-ing the formerly ranked Pat Healy. Having demonstrated the ability to hang with and defend against some of the best grappling in the division, Green has also showcased constantly improving strikes, nimble footwork and head-movement that Pernell Whitaker would approve of. He well-rounded, exciting, adaptable and downright crafty.
Abel Trujillo, though equally deserving of a nuanced explanation of his broad skill set, could be described, simply, as an absolute BEAST. Probably one of the biggest and strongest LW in the UFC, Trujillo has displayed unsurpassed raw physical gifts, endurance and relentlessness. I was impressed with Trujillo’s debut in the UFC (a stoppage of Marcus LeVesseur) and he has improved dramatically since then. Training with Henry Joost and kickboxing phenom Tyron Spong (two of the best names in MMA… literally, I mean they have cool sounding names) at the Blackzilians camp (another cool name) has obviously done wonders for his Thai Boxing game, which looked absolutely stellar in his recent domination of Roger Bowling. As I watched Trujillo transition from leg kicks to knees from the clinch to punches to a takedown to vicious GNP back to his feet to deliver a seamless knee to the gut of a bewildered Bowling, all I could think is that this is a guy who is putting it all together. Abel’s game is scary complete at this early stage of his young career.
So, how does it unfold? What makes this match-up so fun is how different, yet well-matched these two are in every single category. Green’s pin point striking and elusive head movement have served him well thus far, but against strikers far less fierce and fast as Trujillo. He’s not going to be able to play that game as easily against Abel who is going to be coming forward with explosive combinations. Green might be the more savvy grappler, but Trujillo’s strength may be enough to neutralize that. Trujillo’s Kickboxing has come so far so quick, its hard to predict just how good it might be by the time February rolls around.
However it goes down, I expect to see the battle go from standing to the mat and back again on multiple occasions. One thing is for sure, we will be treated to an epic display of well-rounded MMA skill, fueled by the hunger of two young pre-superstars with big plans. Miss it at your own peril.