MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with UFC on Fox 12 lightweight Daron Cruickshank as he prepares for his co-main event bout Saturday night (July 26, 2014) against Jorge Masvidal at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

The talented Michigan native has done his homework on his opponent, but he doesn’t plan on changing much of his fighting style come fight time:

“I’m not gonna put him on a pedestal because I know I’m a bad dude and if I go after somebody, it’s a lot of trouble for them. A lot of people can’t handle the way I throw my hands and feet and they clam up. We’ll see once I put the pressure on him, if he tries to take me down and if he succeeds.”

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with UFC on Fox 12 light heavyweight Anthony Johnson as he prepares for his co-main event bout Saturday night (July 26, 2014) against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

The current top contender isn’t looking past his experienced opponent, but he feels Nogueira’s experience edge won’t be much of a factor come fight time:

“I respect Nogueira. He’s a legend. He might not have the credentials of his brother, but he’s right there. He’s been in battles. We know what he’s capable of, but he hasn’t fought a guy like me. I hit harder, I’m bigger, faster, stronger. He has more experience than me, but at the same time, I don’t think that’s gonna play a big role in the fight. I think it’ll come down to who’s better prepared and who wants it more.” 

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with UFC on Fox 12 lightweight Josh Thomson as he prepares for his main card bout Saturday night (July 26, 2014) against Bobby Green at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

The former Strikeforce lightweight champion knows how close he is to the top of the division, and he’s still not completely over being on the receiving end of a controversial decision in his last bout against Benson Henderson:

“I want to make sure I use up all my talent, all my ability, everything I’ve been given. You don’t want to look back and think you had a few more years left in you and you didn’t do anything about it. I feel like I showed everyone with one hand that I pretty much beat the former champion and everyone knows that Gil and I have had great fights before. I’m older, but I feel there’s so much more left in the tank.”

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with RFA 16 heavyweight Josh Copeland as he prepares for his main event bout tonight (July 25, 2014) against Jan Jorgensen at the 1stBank Center and Broomfield, Colorado.

The undefeated Grudge Training Center product will be squaring off against a very solid athlete later tonight, but he’s worked with plenty of great athletes in training already:

“From watching a couple of his fights, I’ve trained with NFL guys before. They’re freak athletes, there’s no doubting that, but some of them are scared to death of getting punched in the face. Just watching Jan, it looks like he puts his combinations together well. He’s a decorated Division I football player, so he’s an athlete. It says a lot about him. There’s no doubt in my mind the guy has a crazy work ethic. He’s gonna be quick, explosive, strong. I’m excited. I definitely consider it a test and he’s a worthy opponent.”

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 welterweight Karo Parisyan as he prepares for his main card bout tonight (July 25, 2014) against Phil Baroni at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The gritty veteran still has quite a bit left in the tank, and he believes a run for the Bellator title is possible should he put on a solid performance against Baroni:

“It’s an exciting fight for the fans and it’s also a good fight for me. God willing, should I get the win over Phil Baroni, it skyrockets. That would be two big wins in a row in Bellator. It would prove to everybody that I’m back to where I was and only gonna get better. I’m only 31 years old, get my title shot, get my belt hopefully and we’ll go from there.”

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 middleweight Brandon Halsey as he prepares for his tournament final bout Friday night (July 25, 2014) against Brett Cooper at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The unbeaten prospect is still pretty new to the fight game, but he won’t be intimidated by Cooper come Friday night despite his opponent having fought six times as many times professionally:

“I’m trying to progressively get better. I’m new to the MMA world. I’ve been doing this a little over a year. What my corner does is try to implement my wrestling around the strategy of the fight. It’s all about strategy until we find a point where I can go out there and do what I can do and I know I’m ready. That’s the point where I’m at right now where I’m upping my game enough where they don’t feel I have to take them down to win. I choose my destiny in the fight.” 

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 welterweight Adam McDonough as he prepares for his tournament final bout Friday night (July 25, 2014) against Andrey Koreshkov at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The unbeaten Minnesotan won’t be intimidated by his dangerous upcoming opponent, because he knows it’ll play right into the Russian’s aggressive gameplan:

“You can’t fight Koreshkov scared. In his last fight, the guy just backed up to the cage, let [Koreshkov] tee off on him and find his rhythm. I just need to mix it up a lot and wherever it goes, it’ll go. He’s an aggressive fighter to begin with and he’s an aggressive starter. I’ll get a good warm-up in. I’ll be ready for him come the bell. I’m just excited for it. He’s a world class talent and I’ve got nothing but respect for him, but he’s standing in my way for that title shot.” 

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 welterweight Phil Baroni as he prepares for his main card bout Friday night (July 25, 2014) against Karo Parisyan at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The longtime veteran has some history with Parisyan, but that friendship will go out the window come fight time because the “New York Badass” expects to be all business inside the Bellator cage:

“It’s gonna be a fucking grudge match in Temecula. I’m not there to make friends with the guy, have a fucking barbecue with him. I’ll fucking break his fucking face. I’m sure he’s not there to hang out with me or shake my hand either. In Temecula, it’s on. We won’t be buddy buddy between rounds and shit, if somehow he makes it out of the first round. There’s fights and there’s respect and whatnot, but don’t get me wrong, we’re not gonna be friends when we get to Temecula. We won’t be buddies when the cage doors shut. That’s not my style. We ain’t friends on the 25th.” 

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 lightweight Bubba Jenkins as he prepares for his preliminary card bout Friday night (July 25, 2014) against Poppies Martinez at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The talented former standout wrestler has continued to develop his overall game inside the Bellator cage, and while he’s added some striking skills, he’ll always have that grappling base to fall back on:

“I just finally got a hook, a cross and a jab. I finally got some hands up there. It’s changed a little bit, but everyone knows who I am. Everyone knows what I am and what I do. I can say that I’m gonna stand and bang with ‘em but when I get in there, a lot of my old talents and my old instincts kick in and more than likely I’m gonna hit him with a shot. More than likely I’m gonna take him down and try to beat him up. We definitely want to stand and be a little more well-rounded this fight because I’ve developed a lot of that and I want to showcase that but if he hits me in the face during the fight, don’t be surprised if I double leg his ass.” 

MMA Oddsbreaker’s Frank Trigg speaks with Bellator 122 light heavyweight Liam McGeary as he prepares for his main card bout Friday night (July 25, 2014) against Egidijus Valavicius at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.

The dangerous finisher is just two wins away from fighting for the Bellator light heavyweight title, and he can’t wait to get his hands on Valavicius:

“I don’t read all that much into it, how much he’s lost and how much he’s won. I just know he’s had a lot of fights. I’ve had a lot of fights. Not all of them are professional fights, sometimes I was just looking for a fight. He loves to scrap. He’s a tough guy. He can take a punch on the chin. I’m really looking forward to the 25th. I’m really looking forward to getting this on.”