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Frank Trigg: 'I'm in Game to Get Titles'

As the 37-year-old Frank Trigg approaches his UFC return on Saturday against Josh Koscheck, the two-time UFC title challenger could very well be looking at the start of his final run fighting against the highest competition. And after fighting mostly locally the last couple of years, the UFC is where he wants to be.

"I'm in the game to get titles, I'm in the game to get victories," Trigg told FanHouse. "I'm in the game to battle my way up to the top."

In this exclusive interview with FanHouse, Trigg talks returning to the UFC and welterweight division against Koscheck at UFC 103 in Dallas, Texas.

Ray Hui: For your last fight, you fought a local guy with six fights under his belt and you commented, "I've got everything to lose and nothing to gain from this whole event." In this case against Koscheck, how would you rephrase that line?

Trigg: It's a relative term. It depends on how I see stuff. I could lose a close split decision and gain a lot of fans and gain a lot of respect and still be considered to be in the hunt or I can be completely dominated and destroyed and be out of the hunt when it comes to what's going to happen and whether I'm ranked or not ranked in the welterweight division. It's tough to say; it's really up to the rankers and the media after the fight.

In 2005, you were both in the company at the same time, but at different stages. You were fighting for title while Koscheck was coming off the reality TV show. Was he someone you've kept an eye on?

No, I kept an eye on him cause he's a former wrestler and wrestlers always watch wrestlers. It's kind of what we do. But I wasn't actually keeping an eye on him in a sense like "Hey, I got to keep an eye on this guy." He was just another guy that was coming in that was raw and hungry and had great talent and was going to make things happen. I just wanted to see what he was going to do.

Not many people expected Koscheck to develop into such an world-class fighter. How do you view his progress over the past four years?

Very good. Very good. Way ahead of the mark of where I was at the same time of my career. He's developed tremendously. He's got a great camp up there at AKA. He's got great trainers up there. Dave Camarillo is probably one of my favorite jiu jitsu guys to watch do jiu jitsu, and "Crazy" Bob Cook is probably one of the most underrated trainers probably out there right now. Koscheck's got a great camp and great training partners and I think he's way of the curve of where he should be.

Are you expecting a more cautious Koscheck since he's coming off a loss where he got caught?

Anything can happen. He can come out more cautious or he could come out more aggressive. It depends how he views that loss. Does he view that loss as: I have to make a statement now against Trigg, to prove I can beat the crap out of him, or do I have to go out there and got to really try to make something happen here and take my time and be patient about really trying to fight this fight?

You've been successful in recent years as a middleweight, and your win over Misaki at the time slotted you as a top ten middleweight, are you entirely comfortable going back to welterweight?

Yeah. I'm not entirely comfortable. It's a big weight cut. I'm a bigger guy, I'm an older guy, it takes a little longer to get the weight down there and stuff like that. But I chose to go to this weight class. When I called the UFC to ask if I could come back, it wasn't coming back at 185, it was 170. That's what I chose to be in this weight class so no matter how tough it is, this is something I chose to do.

It's been four years since you last fought in the UFC, and a lot has changed with the organization and the sport in general when it comes to exposure and popularity. How different is it coming into this fight against Koscheck compared to your first stint with the UFC?

Well I can tell you this: When I first came into the UFC I couldn't beg you guys to do an interview with me. [AOL Sports] wouldn't do anything with me at all. AOL was nonexistent to anything with the sport, didn't care about the sport and didn't want to know anything about the sport. Now five years later, you guys are calling me out for an interview.

I remember signing cards and trying to give away autographs and people would not take the autograph. They had no idea who I was and thought I was some crazy guy standing on a street corner trying to give them something. I remember having 3-4,000 seat arenas and there being nobody in the seats. Nobody in the seats. And now the UFC is a highly sought out StubHub ticket.

It has expanded and progressed and developed and grown so much the past five years. Nobody – If anybody says that they said it and if anyone said that this was going to happen, they're lying to you, they're making this up. There was no one out there except maybe Lorenzo, Frank [Fertitta], Dana White and Joe Silva were probably the only three or four people that the sport was going to be this big. I'm having a press day the week and a half before a fight and I usually don't have a press day until the Wednesday before the fight. It's pretty cool. It's pretty neat.

Since GSP has already knocked off the majority of the top ranked UFC fighters and the recent Swick injury further throws off the current title picture. I think a title shot is really up for anyone's taking. How many fights do you think you're away from a title shot?

I don't know man. It's up to the UFC. They could have called me and said "look, you're fighting GSP next." I would think I'm three to four fights away. I think I have to prove my viability by beating Koscheck and then after beating a guy like a Swick or a Fitch or Alves, after that, then we can start talking about a title shot. Way too early right now for me, especially the way this sport is right now, for talking about title shots potentially for Frank Trigg at all.

You've been one of the fighters to embrace the video blogging format, not to mention you're always on Twitter, do you see it as an outlet for expression or as a way to connect with your fans?

I'm actually Twittering while I'm talking to you. How do you like that? I like it because when I was out in the minor league – a lot of my friends are professional baseball players and I spent a lot of my time equating myself to guys who are professional athletes and what are they doing. Are you playing European NFL or are you playing in the NFL? Are you playing in AAA ball or are you playing in Major League baseball? What are you doing? And when I was out in the minor leagues, no one cares who you fight on the minor leagues. No one cares what's going on over there so you have to let people know "Hey I'm fighting here, hey I'm fighting this guy, this guy got this record, he beat this guy..."

Letting people who what's going on and create interest around it. So I kind of embraced the social networking/marketing/blogging mindset because I wanted people to understand what I was doing, and now because I'm already in that mindset and I'm already doing it, it makes it so much easier when I have a fight in the UFC. I think it's a big help for me in letting the fans know what's going on and whether they love me or not, they're still reading it. That's kind of what you want.

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