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Snubbed on UFC bonus, Francisco Trinaldo hyped to knock out Bobby Green in Sao Paulo

Gallery Photo: UFC 173 Photos
Francisco Trinaldo (pictured) is coming off a controversial decision defeat to Alexander Hernandes in July.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

SAO PAULO — What’s more important for a professional mixed martial artist – win a fight, or entertain the crowd? For Francisco Trinaldo, a 30-fight MMA veteran, it’s a constant struggle in his head.

“Sometimes I tell the kids (in the gym) that I think about taking my opponent down and holding him there, but I know I won’t be happy doing that, you know?” Trinaldo said. “I sit down with my coach and we prepare a gameplan, but I just want to brawl and put on one of those great fights for the fans. I won’t know what I’ll actually do until I get in there – if I’ll fight to score points and win, or if I’m going after a beautiful finish.”

“Massaranduba” was one of the most popular contestants in the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil in 2012. He didn’t have any problems getting fans to watch as he racked up a 13-6 run in the Octagon after the reality TV show. He became a staple of UFC cards in Brazil.

Ahead of his 20th UFC fight on Saturday at UFC Sao Paulo. Trinaldo makes no guarantees he’ll play for points when he meets fellow lightweight veteran in Bobby Green.

“I was watching my opponent’s previous fights, and he likes to stand and trade, so I know it’s going to be a good fight,” Trinaldo said. “If he does what he always does, I know it’s going to be a great fight for me. I know my hands are heavier than his. I’m not intimidated by his Muay Thai. I know my Muay Thai is great, too, and I’m going straight forward against him.

“If Bobby Green fights the way he always fights, I know it’s going to be an awesome one. I see myself knocking him out. If I don’t finish him, I’ll just put a beating on him. He’s a smart fighter, but I think it’s going to be like the Medeiros fight. They are very similar. I hope he’s trained because I’m ready to put on a show.”

In the past seven years, the Evolucao Thai product has already stopped the likes of Evan Dunham and Paul Felder. He’s also gone the distance in wars like his UFC 198 win over Yancy Medeiros. Sometimes, the physical toll makes him think about playing it safe.

With a controversial decision loss to Alexander Hernandez in July, it might also be better for his wallet. Trinaldo hoped the UFC would pay him a win bonus for his effort, but the money never came. Frustrated, he vowed to leave no room for error his next time out.

“I don’t think about that fight anymore,” he said. “I don’t even watch it so I don’t remember it. It’s in the past. All I think about is on Nov. 16. Everybody saw I won that fight. I don’t care if the UFC gave him the win, (or) if they are trying to build him. All I wanted was my money. He got in the UFC and knocked out (Beneil) Dariush and thought he was great, but then he got beat up by (Donald) Cerrone and then ran away from me. He can’t handle the pressure.”

Trinaldo would gladly welcome another opportunity to share the eight-sided cage with Hernandez, but he said the young prospect “would be really dumb to accept this fight.”

“I don’t care about him anymore,” he said. “I have another problem in front of me.”

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