Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight veterans Francisco Trinaldo and Carlos Diego Ferreira will throw down this Saturday (May 11, 2019) at UFC 237 from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Despite being just a few months shy of his 41st birthday, Trinaldo has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, if his most recent win is anything to go by, Trinaldo is still improving, as his second round step-knee-body-shot knockout was extremely slick. Meeting “Massaranduba” inside the Octagon will be another underrated Brazilian Lightweight in Ferreira, who’s won his previous four bouts in pretty dominant fashion. Lightweight remains a difficult division to build momentum, but Ferreira is knocking on the door of the top 15, and one more victory could earn him a more high-profile match up.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Paul Felder (UFC Fight Night 95), Evan Dunham (UFC Fight Night 137), Ross Pearson (UFC Fight Night 81), Chad Laprise (UFC Fight Night 74)
Key Losses: Kevin Lee (UFC Fight Night 106), James Vick (UFC Fight Night 126), Michael Chiesa (UFC 173)
Keys to Victory: Trinaldo has a great mix of skills, primarily relying on his Muay Thai background and physicality to dictate where the fight takes place. There was a time when Trinaldo was known for fatiguing badly in the second half of the fight, but Trinaldo has more than fixed that issue in recent years.
As usual, Trinaldo’s biggest advantage here is that physicality. Ferreira is definitely the more refined grappler, but Trinaldo has proven to be quite difficult to take down. The clinch is a dangerous place to engage “Massaranduba,” and Trinaldo should make it a priority to punish any shot attempts from Ferreira with elbows and knees.
If Trinaldo is able to force a kickboxing match, he’s at an advantage. Between his looping left hand and left kick, Trinaldo generally does a very good job of maintaining his preferred distance and range. Though Ferreira will surely get his own shots, Trinaldo’s are likely to be the harder blows that dictate the fight.
Carlos Diego Ferreira
Key Wins: Rustam Khabilov (UFC Fight Night 145), Jared Gordon (UFC Fight Night 126), Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC on FOX 18), Ramsey Nijem (UFC 177)
Key Losses: Dustin Poirier (UFC Fight Night 63), Beneil Dariush (UFC 179)
Keys to Victory: A third-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu, Ferreira is exceptionally nasty from top position, both with his ground strikes and submissions. On the feet, Ferreira is an underrated kickboxer, a bit hittable but offensively potent with combos of hard punches and snapping kicks.
Volume and activity will be Ferreira’s main key to victory. Trinaldo fixed his conditioning problem largely by pacing himself, using his powerful strikes to settle his opponent and force them to engage at his pace. If Ferreira falls into that trap, his chance at victory plummets.
Instead, Ferreira has to push the pace. He’ll get hit in the process, and those strikes might end his night early, but that’s the chance that must be taken if he’s to pull ahead late. If Ferreira is able to constantly pressure Trinaldo and lean on that gas tank, something is going to give, either in the form of a big punch connecting or takedown landed.
Bottom Line: An excellent pair of underrated Lightweights will square off.
Trinaldo may not contend for the title, but the Brazilian has proven himself among the best in the world. Unfortunately, losing two of his last four ruins all the momentum his previous seven-fight win streak had built up, leaving Trinaldo just outside the rankings. If “Massaranduba” is to regain his past rank or climb even higher, he’s going to need another streak of quality victories.
He enters this bout looking to extend his win streak to two.
Ferreira is also in the unenviable position of nearly top 15, but at least he’s already put some wins together. In particular, being the man to end Rustam Khabilov’s six-fight win streak is quite the feather in his cap. If Ferreira can follow up that win (and the other three) with yet another victory, he’ll have at least earned the right to challenge someone ranked in that No. 11-15 range.
At UFC 237, Francisco Trinaldo and Carlos Diego Ferreira will open the main card. Which man will have his hand raised?