by Ryan Bennett – MMAWeekly.com
Both Charuto Verissimo and Frank Trigg have crossed similar paths on many occassions in their fight careers and this weekend they both hinted at retirement after their tough losses at Rumble on the Rock 9.
Verissimo battled tough Japanese fighter Kuniyoshi Hironaka in what may have been the fight of the night, but Verissimo got caught in the second round with some great ground n pound by the Japanese fighter in a tough loss.
Frank Trigg, after defeating Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun in the quarterfinals, bowed out of the semi-finals of the tournament at the hands of the young gun Carlos Condit due to submission. Now both fighters have hinted at retirement after two tough losses. One man who knows what it’s like to hit rock bottom in the fight game is Phil Baroni.
Baroni who has re-invented himself in Pride after losing four fights in a row in the UFC, worked with me on the broadcast this weekend and said on the broadcast, “These guys don’t want to go out like that. They need better training partners. I have no idea who Trigg is even training with these days. Look at me. Everyone said I was done, I came back because of guys like Mark Coleman and A.K.A (American Kickboxing Academy) and I’m back. Everyone said I was done too, they just need better training.”
Baroni is right. Trigg at one time was working out frequently with Vladimir Matyushenko and Rico Chipparelli but both have moved on to concentrate on business opportunities, leaving Trigg to work out with sporatic training partners at the R-1 gym.
Charuto Verissimo has spent time as BJ Penn’s training partner, but even Penn has gone worldwide traveling to train with the best in the business. Charuto at this point of his career would do better seeing new faces in new places working on his game.
Verissimo said after his fight in Hawaii “This is the last you’ve seen of me. I love the people of Hawaii and you’ve seen my last fight.” Trigg also talked retirement in his interview that you can watch right now on MMAWeekly TV.
The two fighters at one time were ranked #2 and #3 in the world respectively. They both were an eyelash away of defeating UFC Champion Matt Hughes. Verissimo landed a triangle choke that Hughes somehow got out of at UFC 48, while Trigg vs Hughes 2 saw Trigg having the champ on the ropes, only to see Hughes comeback in dramatic fashion.
You could make the argument that neither fighter was the same fighter after the fight with Hughes. Verissmo went 1-3 when he lost to the champion, while ironically Trigg had the same identical 1-3 since the fight with Hughes.
It would be unfortunate if this is the end of the two talented fighters. I’ve had the pleasure of calling Charuto’s fights over the years and I can tell you he is one of the best gentlemen in all of MMA. No matter what you think of Frank Trigg, I’ve seen him behind the scenes away from the microphone doing charity work for women’s shelters and while he loves to talk the talk and get under the fighters skin, he truly is one of the nicest guys and many fans are shocked at “how cool he is in person.”
They have raised the bar in the 170 pound weight class. They also once battled at UFC 50 against one another in what could have been the fight of the night at the “War of 04” but in what may be poetic justice in the fight game, with so many similarites that they have had in their careers they may have finished their careers the same night in Hawaii. If that is the case, then it’s truly the end of an era in the 170 pound weight class.