Frank Trigg heads into his BAMMA 6 match-up with John Phillips looking to answer a question: Can he still compete at middleweight?
“I think one of the biggest mistakes that I made was trying to convince myself that I can still be viable at 170,” Trigg told MMAWeekly.com. “It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have the athletic ability or the talent to be viable at 170. What had happened was that I am inefficient at 170. I’m too big now to make the weight class.”
Before returning to the UFC and the 170-pound division in 2009, Trigg had an impressive run as a middleweight, defeating Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Kazuo Misaki before losing to Robbie Lawler.
“At 185, obviously I’m bigger. I’m stronger because I’m heavier. That goes without saying, but I feel better now. I’m able to train hard. I’m able to train longer being a little bit heavier,” he said.
“All my trainers say I’m a lot better than I was when I was training to fight at 170. I’m way faster. I’m way bigger. I’m way stronger. My technique is better, so I don’t have to worry about my diet as much,” he added. “When I come home at night I’m not as sore, not nearly as sore as I used to when I would train.
“It’s a huge difference just having that extra meat on my bones.”
Trigg accepted the fight with Phillips to challenge himself and to see if what his trainers are telling him is true.
“The reason why I chose John Phillips as my next opponent is because I got knocked out by (Matt) Serra, and I got knocked out by Josh Koscheck. So let’s just find out. Is it really an issue where I was just too big trying to cut too much weight and couldn’t recover in time to compete the next day, or is it one of those deals where now that I’m at 185 and able to move and function and be able to make things happen, or is it an issue where I just suck and shouldn’t be out there fighting anymore? That’s the question to be answered,” he said.
Discussing the stylistic match-up, the 39-year-old fighter commented, “He’s a good fighter. He’s 13-3. He has 12 stoppages by TKO and the other one was by tapout, but the guy tapped out because he was getting punched in the head.
“He has a loss by punches, he has a loss by submission, and a loss by decision,” Trigg told MMAWeekly Radio. “He’s good and he’s big. This is a tough, tough kid.
“This kid hits hard. He has one-punch knockout power,” said Trigg. “And he’s getting better with his takedown defense and he’s getting better off his back. If I do take him to the ground; that’s going to be a struggle to get him to the ground, and if I get him to the ground he’s pretty good about fighting off his back and getting back to his feet. It’s going to be interesting how this turns out.”
If he loses, Trigg stopped short of saying he’d retire.
“I can’t tell you how it really is until after the fight is over,” said Trigg. “And hopefully from here I can adjust and get better or we’re going to have to move on.”