Francisco Trinaldo didn’t have an easy night at the office, but the results still paid off in the end.
The veteran Brazilian had to endure a valiant effort from debuting prospect Jai Herbert, but all it took was a devastating right hand in the third round to put his opponent down and out while securing his third consecutive win overall.
“I always say it’s easy to hit but it’s harder to come back,” Trinaldo said after the win. “It’s harder to stay in the fight. Look at my face, it’s all cut up but I made it through the fight.”
The back-and-forth brawl tested both men as Herbert came out firing immediately, using his long reach and powerful strikes to keep Trinaldo on the end of his punches. In return, Trinaldo sought to close the distance while turning the fight to his favor late in the opening round.
Herbert then surged ahead in the second round after blasting Trinaldo with several stiff combinations that resulted in a massive cut being opened on the cheek. For a moment it appeared Trinaldo was just moments away from being finished.
That’s when he came storming back in the third and final round with an overhand left that bounced off Herbert’s head, leaving him dazed and confused before tumbling to the ground. It appeared Trinaldo earned a walk off knockout, but referee Herb Dean stood by without actually stopping the fight.
Trinaldo then had to deliver a few more punches before Dean mercifully ended the contest.
Despite the bizarre finish, Trinaldo made a huge statement with his win, but now he’ll be turning his attention to a new division after announcing his intention to move to welterweight after coming in a whopping four pounds over the lightweight limit for this fight.
Afterward, a hot mic picked up UFC commentator and ex-fighter Dan Hardy giving Dean a piece of his mind, telling the veteran referee on his job, “you do yours.”
BT Sport caught Hardy’s immediate reaction and a portion of the audio.