by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Trigg’s career as a mixed martial artist has had its peaks and valleys like many other fighters. In his first fight in the UFC, he gets thrown in against Matt Hughes for a title shot. While he lost that fight, he came back to knock off the guy who handed Matt Hughes two of his losses in Dennis Hallman and then knocked off the always tough Renato “Charuto” Verissimo. At UFC 52, he rematched Matt Hughes again. The fight was his and he had Matt Hughes almost out, until miraculously Hughes came back to win by rear naked choke. After a loss to now UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, the UFC dropped him.
Trigg picked up a win in Hawaii against the very tough Ron Jhun, but lost to Carlos Condit by triangle armbar three months later. Trigg then announced his retirement and became a full time broadcaster for Pride Fighting Championships.
Many people felt that Trigg had plenty left in the tank and just needed to reevaluate his game. After almost eight months, Trigg returned to the ring, but not as a 170 pound fighter. Trigg bulked up to 185 pounds to fight the very dangerous Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Trigg was a pretty decent sized underdog against “Mayhem”, but he proved everyone wrong. He beat Miller with effective striking and punished him badly during the fight. He did something that not even Georges St. Pierre could do and that was to stop Jason Miller.
Trigg opened everyone’s eyes after that victory. Now for a bigger test, he is going to take on Kazuo Misaki, the #4 middleweight in the MMAWeekly Rankings. Misaki had an impressive 2006 with wins over Akira Shoji, Phil Baroni, Dan Henderson and Denis Kang. This will be Trigg’s biggest test at middleweight thus far and it has the makings of an exciting fight.
Frank recently joined Damon and Jeff on the Sound Off radio show to talk about his training and preparation for the Misaki fight. The new hot spot for training seems to be the new Randy Couture “Xtreme Couture” gym, which is where Trigg is training. “Just got done training at Randy Couture’s gym. He just opened up a new gym in Vegas. There must eighteen, nineteen or twenty high level professionals like Mac Danzig, Jay Hieron, Mike Pyle, Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Eric Pele and Dan Christison and Frank Mir,” Trigg said.
With talent like that pushing you, you can expect that Trigg will be ready to go. Most fighters want to go home after the fight, but not Trigg. He just wants to go back to work. Trigg will be broadcasting the rest of the telecast right after his fight is done. “We’re breaking sports broadcast history,” he explains. “It’s never been done before. Never has a competitor commentate on the same event. It’s never been done, ever.”
Why would a guy who just fought on a card want to go right to work? “When I signed with Pride, my job is a broadcaster. I didn’t want to fight for Pride. I just wanted to be a broadcaster. They put a good sales pitch on me, but I said I wanted to broadcast the same night.”
Trigg goes on to explain why he wants to commentate. “When I lost to Hughes the second time, I felt like shit. I didn’t want to do anything. Nici told me that I had a job to do and I had to get my ass on the radio show on Monday morning with Ryan Bennett. It really set me up for this.”
Misaki is a fighter who presents problems for many competitors. Frank broke down Misaki’s style and how he plans to beat him. “He’s very mobile. He’s very tricky. He moves his hips a lot. He doesn’t just come out like a Muay Thai guy. I’ve got to take him down and pound him out. When he gets up, take him down and pound him out some more. I believe my hand game has come around big time. You have to stalk him. I have to be really smart. You got to pressure him.”
This will be Pride’s second U.S. show and also its second time in Las Vegas where Trigg resides. MMAWeekly Radio asked Trigg how he felt about fighting at home. “It’s so nerve racking and so cool at the same time. I have so many friends coming to watch me.”