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Trinaldo on UFC return after three hernia surgeries: One year out felt like ‘an eternity’

Francisco Trinaldo feels ready to make up for lost time, starting with Muslim Salikhov at UFC Vegas 28.

Seasoned veteran Francisco Trinaldo feels healthy and ready to take on anybody in the Octagon. After undergoing three hernia surgeries on the same day, back in November 2020, ‘Massaranduba’ is eager to extend his current three-fight winning streak. In order to do so, he plans to start at UFC Vegas 28, where he will make his welterweight debut.

Away from the Octagon for nearly one year, Francisco told Combate that it was hard to stay out of action for so long, but is ready to make up for it. Although the Brazilian is used to being an active fighter, performing at least twice every year, Trinaldo knows he needed to take the time off to deal with his injuries.

“To me, it was an eternity. One year without fighting, I’m used to fighting three times a year (though the last time Trinaldo fought three times in the same year was 2016). I’m going to make up for it. I didn’t tell anybody. I had three hernia surgeries. Then I went to Brazil and took some time to rest with my family. Now I’m back to the United States.”

“They were going to give me a fight, but my coach didn’t let me.” Francisco continued. “He said I needed to train more, because I was coming back from surgery and not take a fight right away. I’m happy I took this fight, though. I had to recover for a while, but after one month I was training again. Everyone thought it was absurd, but I felt nothing, I recovered really well. It (the surgery) was in November. All three on the same day.”

Now paired up against dangerous Muslim Salikhov for his return, Massaranduba expects a hard outing, but feels up to the task. While Francisco agrees that his opponent is dangerous on the feet, the Brazilian vows not to shy away from a striking match, and intends to pressure and make the Russian walk backwards in the Octagon.

“He’s on a four-fight winning streak in the UFC. We know it’s going to be hard. I watched his fights, he’s a really good striker, but I’m a striker, too. I’m an MMA fighter. I’m well-rounded and I’ll show people I’m ready to fight anyone at welterweight. Everyone knows that, if you let him, he’s going to throw those spinning shots. That’s one of his most dangerous strikes, but I won’t let him do it. I’m going to smother him, I’ll make him walk backwards at the right moments. If I smother him correctly, he won’t be able to do his thing.”

In his last outing, Trinaldo (26-7) scored a TKO win over Jai Herbert, back in July 2020, after having already defeated both John Makdessi and Bobby Green via unanimous decision, The 42-year-old’s latest loss happened in July 2019, when Massaranduba dropped a controversial unanimous decision to Alexander Hernandez.

Now, Trinaldo is expected to meet Salikhov at UFC Vegas 28, on June 5, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight bout between contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai.