An experienced mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran will welcome a newcomer to the Octagon when Francisco Trinaldo meets Piotr Hallman this Wednesday (Sept. 4, 2013) on the main card of UFC Fight Night 28 from Jornalista Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Both Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight fighters are highly talented finishers on win streaks. Each has also attained a Lightweight championship belt, with Trinaldo capturing the Jungle Fight title while Hallmann won the Celtic Gladiator belt.
"Massaranduba," a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil," won his two latest bouts via arm triangle over Mike Rio at UFC on FX 8 and C.J. Keith at UFC on FX 7. He'll return to Brazil for a third time this year to provide a stiff challenge for the young but promising Hallmann.
The 26-year-old "Pletwal" has been on a roll of his own, winning his last nine bouts in a row with five submissions and three (technical) knockouts. He'll venture into hostile territory to face the Brazilian brawler Trinaldo, who'll have the full support of his home crowd behind him.
It's going to be an incredibly tough out for Hallmann, but if he can get past his older opposition in Belo Horizonte, good things will be on the horizon.
Let's take a look at how the Francisco Trinaldo vs. Piotr Hallmann winner can advance on in the tough 155-pound division.
Record: 13-2 overall, 3-1 UFC
Key Wins: Mike Rio (UFC on FX 8), C.J. Keith (UFC on FX 7), Delson Heleno (UFC 147)
Key Losses: Gleison Tibau (UFC 153), Yuri Alcantara (Jungle Fight 22)
Keys to Victory: Trinaldo is an absolutely huge Lightweight who's found recent success in the UFC. He made his official Octagon debut by stopping Delson Heleno at UFC 147. That fight was fought at Middleweight, and Trinaldo made a huge cut down to what he thought to be his natural class of Lightweight.
Because of this, "Massaranduba" brings a ton of power and explosiveness to the cage. He throws extremely hard, wild hooks that have a tendency to change fights, resulting in five knockout wins. This fight could end quickly for Hallmann if Trinaldo finds his chin with even one of his looping power shots. Trinaldo is also extremely resilient in his striking defense, having never been knocked out in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Trinaldo is also proficient on the ground with five submission victories to his name. Trinaldo is an extremely well rounded combatant that has the strength to grind his opponents out and dominate them on both the feet and ground. However, Hallmann has never been submitted so this fight could be a true gauge of how far Trinaldo's Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has progressed.
Trinaldo has fought every single one of his UFC fights in Brazil, and the crowd will be a huge boost to him Wednesday night. Hallmann may already have a case of the Octagon jitters, so that combined with the crowd noise is going to make for an extremely intimidating experience.
Trinaldo has the Octagon experience, power, and the crowd on his side. You'd have to think he'd be the overwhelming favorite, but this is MMA, and anything can happen.
Record: 13-1 overall, 0-0 UFC
Key Wins: Ivica Truscek (Celtic Gladiator 6-Day of War), Vaso Bakocevic (WFC 17)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: The up-and-coming Hallmann will face a daunting task when he dives into the deep waters at UFC Fight Night 28. It's never easy to face a Brazilian in Brazil, and he'll do just that against a bigger and stronger opponent.
But, size isn't everything.
Hallmann gets the job done by maintaining a hard-pumping pace on the feet, wearing his opponents down with his high volume of varied strikes. Hallmann has a crisp striking game, a stark contrast to Trinaldo's brawling style.
To get a win in Brazil, Hallmann will have to avoid getting into a slugfest that favors his opponent. He'll need to be patient and mix up his aggression with some counter striking to match the inevitable wild bombs that will be thrown his way. His wrestling game is good enough to take the fight to the ground, where's he finished five of his last nine bouts via submission.
Emotions will be flying high for both Hallmann and the Brazilian crowd come Wednesday, so maintaining a degree of calm will be paramount for Hallmann. Allowing the grand stage to affect him mentally will be the first step to losing badly against Trinaldo.
Bottom Line From Belo Horizonte: The bottom line here is that Hallmann is faced with an extremely tough welcome to the Octagon. UFC must think highly of the Polish fighter, because Trinaldo is definitely not an easy win in any sense. Trinaldo has looked sharp as of late with his submission game, and his size and strength make the former Middleweight a beast to deal with on the ground. He can get by many opponents on sheer strength alone.
If Hallmann can use accuracy, agility, and elusiveness to stay out of "Massaranduba's" minefield, he could score a ton of points with his flurries. He may capitalize on a few takedowns, but he'll have to be weary of his opponent's dangerous arm triangle choke on the ground. Hallmann does have a ton of technical expertise, but he'll have to remain unfazed mentally to implement his skills. Hallmann doesn't appear to be afraid to mix it up in any area of MMA, but that story could change quickly when the lights are turned on at UFC Fight Night 28.
We've seen many a promising fighter succumb to the immense pressure of their first bout inside the Octagon, and Hallmann is facing more adverse conditions that most did their first time out.
All in all, this fight could turn out to be a rousing slugfest for the fans, because the submission proficiency of both fighters will likely negate the probability of a tapout.
It'll be precise volume versus all-out power when Hallmann and Trinaldo collide in Belo Horizonte. Who is your pick to win this Lightweight showdown?