Anderson Silva is widely regarded as the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world. Frank Trigg is not. But Trigg told me today that he believes he could beat Silva.
"I never thought of myself as a Top 10 guy in any weight class -- ever," Trigg said. "But I think I match up very well against Anderson Silva. I think my style, my technique, matches up against Anderson Silva better than, say, Dan Henderson or Travis Lutter. Conversely, I think Dan Henderosn would be very difficult for me to match up against. A guy like Rich Franklin is a guy that I can beat."
Trigg, who will fight for Strikeforce on Friday night, told me he thinks he has the right style to fight Silva, and when I asked him what his game plan would be in that fight, he gave me a detailed analysis.
"Everyone's so scared of his length and his reach that they stay way the hell outside," Trigg said. "They're idiots. That makes no sense. You have to be on the inside. You have to be a Mike Tyson-style boxer against him. He's too elusive to hit in the face. He just has too much movement. You have to work his body. You have to pick him apart. You have to out-point him."
I wondered whether going to the inside wouldn't be problematic because Silva is so effective with the Muay Thai clinch, but Trigg said Silva isn't as effective on the inside.
"He can't hurt you when you're inside because his punching power is from his length and he has to be outside to kick," Trigg said. "You have to take Anderson Silva down and hold him down. You almost have to fight him like B.J. Penn fought Sean Sherk: Constant movement, peppering him with quick shots."
Trigg added, "It's not difficult to see how to beat Anderson Silva. What's difficult is putting yourself to the task and understanding that the game plan isn't going to be perfect, and when something bad happens, overcoming that bad thing."
Ultimately, Trigg said, his confidence is one of his biggest strengths.
"If you don't think you would win, why the hell are you showing up?" Trigg said. "Yeah, I think I could win."