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Francisco Trinaldo likes fighting prospects: ‘We can break them’

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UFC 198 photos
Trinaldo (left) holds UFC wins over the likes of Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros and Jim Miller.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Francisco Trinaldo signed a bout agreement to fight Alexander Hernandez in January, but the UFC opted to pull the plug on the match-up to book “The Great,” a hot prospect at the time, against veteran Donald Cerrone.

The young lightweight was demolished by “Cowboy” in Brooklyn, and Trinaldo was “frustrated” to see it all unfold when he was left without an opponent. To make things worse, Trinaldo made weight for UFC 237 in May but Diego Ferreira never made it to the scale due to kidney stones.

Six months after the original date, Trinaldo and Hernandez will finally meet inside the Octagon at Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 4. For the 40-year-old Brazilian, who hasn’t fought since a brutal knee to the liver knockout over Evan Dunham, it’s a perfect chance to fight like Urijah Faber and stop a young talent.

“I like to fight young prospects (to show) we’re not dead, man,” Trinaldo told MMA Fighting. “The good thing about fighting prospects is that we can break them. I was a bit frustrated that they pulled him (from my fight) to fight Cerrone, but I don’t care. All I can do is do my job. I don’t like to criticize anyone. I want to do my job without criticizing anyone, but my time will come.”

Cerrone finished Hernandez using his experience, Trinaldo said, and that’s exactly what he plans on doing Saturday.

“I see myself winning in many different ways,” the Brazilian said. “He’s too anxious, so I’ll use that against him. I’m happy that this fight is finally happening. I never stopped training. I had no time off, no holidays, no vacations. I never stopped training for him. I had other opponents but it fell through, but I’m ready to fight him now.”

“Think about a hungry man. That’s me,” he added. “I’ll throw everything on Hernandez.”

“Massaranduba” believes he’ll once again be ranked among the 15 best lightweights in the UFC with a big win over Hernandez, but that’s not his main focus right now.

“My focus is to defeat him, to put a beating on him and show why I’m in the UFC,” Trinaldo said. “I’m in the UFC to beat people up. Not only Hernandez, everyone.”