by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Trigg Makes His Fighting Return At Rumble On The Rock
By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
2005 was a very tumultuous year for Frank Trigg, who will make his return to the ring when he takes on veteran Ronald “The Machine Gun” Jhun at Rumble on the Rock on January 20th. To start 2005, Trigg was sitting as the number 1 contender to the UFC welterweight title, poised for a second shot at champion Matt Hughes.
Trigg, never one to be soft spoken, made it clear that his first loss to Hughes was a mistake, one he wouldn’t make again. Coming into UFC 52, there was almost as much hype around the world of MMA for the Hughes/Trigg rematch as there was for the main event fight of Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell.
Frank Trigg came into the fight ready to take it to the champion and it didn’t take very long for the former NCAA wrestler to make his presence known when Hughes winced at a kick that landed on the inside thigh and groin area. While Hughes motioned towards the referee for a moment to recover, no time was given and Trigg took the opportunity to pounce on Hughes.
With the action moving so fast, Trigg obviously didn’t realize that his opponent was stunned so much from the initial kick and reigned down punches onto Hughes, prompting the referee to take a closer look, almost stopping the fight. Miraculously, Hughes recovered from the barrage that Trigg had fired, and managed to once again gain the upper hand. Trigg’s second shot at Hughes ended in a similar fashion as the first fight, when he landed in a rear naked choke applied by Hughes and had no other choice but to tap out.
Almost 4 months later, Trigg got his chance at redemption in the UFC when he was slated to take on Canadian MMA star, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre at UFC 54. Everyone saw this fight as an absolute toss-up and no one really knew how this match-up would go. Trigg was stepping into the fight as the better wrestler and more experienced fighter, while St. Pierre always came into the octagon with a ton of energy and an all around game that was almost unsurpassed in the welterweight division.
In the opening minute of the fight, Trigg attempted a takedown and after watching the replays, fans could see that he planted awkwardly on his ankle, twisting to the side and almost instantaneously St. Pierre was able to over power Trigg and get the takedown. It was only a matter of time before St. Pierre, who was absolutely unrelenting in his attack, secured his hooks into Trigg and sunk in a rear naked choke getting the Canadian the win.
It was shortly after the fight that it was revealed that Trigg had gone into the fight with an already injured ankle and the opening minutes caused an even more severe injury, one that would require surgery and sideline him for the remainder of the year. The news didn’t get any better for Trigg as the UFC decided not to re-sign him after his loss to St. Pierre, prompting the one time WFA champion to get back on the road to recovery and get himself back to the top of the 170lb weight class, not knowing where his next fight would take place. Even Trigg knew that 2005 wasn’t his best year.
“2005 sucked. It was horrible,” Trigg stated when giving his year end review. “I had a bad ankle fighting Hughes and had a bad ankle fighting St. Pierre. I had to have surgery on 10 or 15 days after the St. Pierre fight. But the surgery went well I think, but we won’t really know until I get out there and fight, but I think it went pretty well.”
The news didn’t get any better for Trigg as the UFC decided not to re-sign him after his loss to St. Pierre, prompting the one time WFA champion to get back on the road to recovery and get himself back to the top of the 170lb weight class, not knowing where his next fight would take place.
Trigg took the time while he was rehabbing his ankle to continue to work alongside Ryan Bennett on MMAWeekly radio, and do some commentary work for Canada’s Fight Network, that gave him yet another opportunity, this time outside of the ring.
Just recently, longtime Pride mainstay, Bas Rutten left the company’s color commentary job, and soon after everyone saw Trigg working alongside Mauro Renallo during the Pride pay-per-view and on their Fox Sports feature show with Jay Glazer. Originally, Trigg was slated to cover the Pride Bushido shows during 2006, but now with Rutten gone from the company all together, one can only wonder if Pride has found their permanent replacement with the always interesting Trigg.
With Trigg’s co-host job with MMAWeekly radio and his new found color commentary position with Pride, a new found opportunity may have a bright future in store for the former champion.
“I’d like to do broadcasting as a career,” commented Trigg. “The problem is I’m a color guy, I’m not a play by play guy. Play by play guys can get work anywhere. Mike Goldberg is a play by play guy, Jay Glazer is a play by play guy, they can get work in almost any sport because they do the research and they give inside information, factual information. I’m a color guy, and I can only really do the sport I’m in and that poses a problem in the sense of I have to be able to talk about other sports and I can only talk about mixed martial arts, and there is not that much of a market for that yet.”
But has his new job taken away from his training time for the upcoming fight?
“No, it really hasn’t,” Trigg stated. “They allowed me to train while I was over in Japan and I was only there for 5 days. I trained before I left and I trained again as soon as I got there, so it was relatively easy.”
Now Trigg will make his return to fighting, this time in a highly touted welterweight tournament in Hawaii’s Rumble on the Rock show. Trigg is one of 8 outstanding fighters who will be competing in the tournament, and for his first round match-up, Trigg has drawn Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun.
Jhun is a tough and experienced fighter, but has lost 4 out of his last 5 fights. Jhun’s biggest advantage may come from his Hawaiian heritage and knowing that he will have the hometown crowd on his side.
“He’s more a street fighter type,” said Trigg when commenting about his opponent. “As a result at any time he can throw a haymaker and knock you out and put you on the canvas. He’s got good jiu-jitsu skills as far as survivability, it will be hard to submit him, hard to keep him from coming at you. He’s had like 35 or 40 professional fights so he has a lot of experience. He’s a tough opponent.”
With a stacked card of possible opponents down the road in the tournament, who does Trigg think he’d like to fight?
“Anderson Silva,” Trigg said without hesitation. “I think he’d test my stand-up skills and I think it would be an interesting fight. I’d really like to test him and see if I’m worth a shit, am I really up there?”
Trigg knows that losing 3 fights in a row is not an option and is sure to come into this fight with a whole new fire.
Frank Trigg vs. Ronald Jhun will take place at Rumble on the Rock in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 20th.