Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight scrappers Francisco Trinaldo and Paul Felder threw down last night (Sept. 24, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 95 inside Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil. Trinaldo made some significant strides in his overall ability and conditioning a couple years back, and the results have been outstanding. Riding a six fight win streak into this bout, Trinaldo was looking to finally break into the rankings. Meanwhile, Felder was looking to make Trinaldo’s momentum his own. There have been some great moments in Felder’s fights, but Felder has also come up short in important bouts. Last night, he was looking to break that trend.
It didn’t work out for him.
Trinaldo showed off all his improvements and talent in the opening round. Early on, he found his range with long punches and kicks, but it wasn’t long before he stepped into harder kicks to the mid-section.
On the whole, Trinaldo was simply able to dictate the pace and range. If he wanted Felder up against the fence, the American would soon find himself placed there. While neither fighter was able to land the takedown, Trinaldo controlled the first round.
It was another strong showing for the Brazilian.
Unlike the first, which was a pretty measured battle on the whole, the second round quickly devolved into a wild brawl. Both men were moving a bit slower, so Trinaldo simply bit down on his mouth piece and threw hard.
While that lead to some close exchanges and both men landing, Trinaldo switched things up by landing a trip takedown from the clinch. For about three minutes, he battered Felder with elbows from top position and remained in control.
It wasn’t as pretty, but it was definitely effective.
Trinaldo showed a bit of veteran savvy in the final round, as he spent much of it simply circling away and catching his breathe. Felder tried to stalk and reach with strikes, but most missed.
Meanwhile, Trinaldo’s occasional plant and throw landed on the advancing fighter.
Either way, it didn’t much matter, as some hard strikes in the clinch forced a pause in the action for the doctor to check on Felder’s cut. Though it had been opened in the second from elbows, the doctor called a stop to the bout.
This fight pretty much showed everything Trinaldo has to offer, and why he’s on a seven fight win streak. The Brazilian showed off his well-rounded skills, physicality, and intelligence as he battered his opponent in each of the different facets of MMA.
More than anything else, Trinaldo’s improved conditioning seems to be the result of smart pacing. Trinaldo knows when he can play the outside kickboxing game — which is low energy for him — when he must turn it up and swing, and when to take a breather on the outside or in the clinch. Despite being one of the older fighters in the division, Trinaldo has consistently been outlasting his recent opponents.
Congrats to the Brazilian on a great night of work. Thanks to his current win streak, he definitely deserves an opponent inside the rankings for his next bout, and I’d like to see him face someone like Evan Dunham next.
On the other hand, Felder was simply out fought in this match. There’s not one specific area where his opponent has a massive technical or physical advantage, but Trinaldo simply made better use of his skills and was the more effective athlete.
In each of his losses, Felder has shown a problem with letting his opponent dictate the pace. In particular, he often follows his opponent rather than cutting off the cage, which is really a waste of energy. If he can learn better strike selection and to force exchanges more effectively, he could be a serious contender.
All that said, something positive should be said about Felder, who definitely put it all on the line and never quit. In terms of striking technique, I really love Felder’s counter knees to the body, as he times them excellently. He used them expertly here, and they definitely took a chunk out of "Massaranduba’s" gas tank.
Last night, Francisco Trinaldo beat up Paul Felder in a fun scrap. How high can the Brazilian climb at 155 pounds?
For complete UFC Fight Night 95: "Cyborg vs Lansberg" fight results and play-by-play, click HERE!