Francisco Trinaldo (13-2, 3-1 UFC) vs. Piotr Hallmann (13-1, 0-0 UFC)
One of the good things of the numerous events in Brazil is we see guys getting some good exposure on the main card, and this is a fight with two quality lightweights. Trinaldo has fought exclusively in Brazil, and he comes in riding a two-fight win streak following submission wins over Mike Rio and C.J. Keith in 2013. He is 7-1 over his last eight fights. Hallmann makes his UFC debut on the heels of nine straight wins, and he last fought in April in his native Poland.
Fight Breakdown- Trinaldo is a huge lightweight who first got UFC exposure through the inaugural edition of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” as a middleweight. While he didn’t make it to the finals of the show, he has put together an impressive 3-1 record in the UFC. He scored an impressive knockout win over Delson Heleno in his UFC debut at UFC 147 as a middleweight, and then made the massive cut back down to the lightweight division for his second UFC bout. While it ended up as a loss to Gleison Tibau, he came close to finishing Tibau with his hands, and that is a tough task in itself. Tibau showed what Trinaldo needs to work on by controlling him with the wrestling, but Trinaldo has since bounced back with overpowering submissions of Keith and Rio in his two Octagon appearances in 2013. Trinaldo continues his run of having every one of his fights take place in Brazil in this bout.
Hallmann makes his debut in the UFC in a tough fight, and he is putting his nine-fight win streak on the line. He has scored eight stoppage wins during that win streak, with five coming by submission and three coming by knockout. The Polish fighter will have youth on his side as he is only 26 while Trinaldo is 35, but Trinaldo has more experience. Hallmann is coming into a tough situation as he finds himself in a tough fight for his UFC debut facing a Brazilian who will have the crowd in Belo Horizonte behind him. Hallmann’s ability to finish the fight might be a little bit better than Trinaldo’s ability to finish a fight, but Hallmann’s lone loss in his career came from a knockout. Hallmann is a former welterweight, but he will still be giving up some size to Trinaldo.
Hallmann is a fairly well-rounded fighter, but so is Trinaldo. Trinaldo likely has the power advantage as he is a little big bigger as a lightweight, and he has an excellent ground game. Trinaldo could decide to put a beating on Hallmann on the feet, or he could switch it up and take the fight to the ground and make it a grind on the way to a submission. Hallmann is talented but this may be too tough of a fight for him to take in his UFC debut. The deck is stacked against him, and he will need to use a varied attack if he is going to take out Trinaldo. He has the better wrestling game but Trinaldo is dangerous on the ground. Hallmann needs to be able to land his counters on the feet as it will throw Trinaldo off of his game. Hallmann needs to be the aggressive man on the feet and have pinpoint accuracy if he is going to win this fight over Trinaldo. Hallmann is decent on the ground, but Trinaldo’s strength may be too much to overcome. Hallmann could take the fight, but Trinaldo has the better shot of taking the win, and he will do so as he continues to rise the lightweight rankings.
Why It Matters- Trinaldo is quietly becoming a solid hand in the UFC’s lightweight division and has the chance to carve himself as a Brazilian gatekeeper. He may never fight for a title, but he is a tough test for any lightweight wanting to fight in Brazil. Hallmann has a chance to be a similar fighter to Trinaldo, and he may never fight for the lightweight title, but he will be a solid addition to the UFC’s lightweight division. It is a big fight for both men as they look to have a solid showing in front of a decent-sized television audience, and it is a chance for the winner to put on a solid performance.