An upcoming bout has seen an opponent change due to circumstances beyond the UFC’s control, and I will give my thoughts on this new matchup in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Alexander Hernadez vs. Francisco Trinaldo, UFC 233
A lightweight bout between Alexander Hernandez and Francisco Trinaldo has been added to UFC 233, which takes place January 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Trinaldo was originally set to fight Islam Makhachev at the event, but the UFC pulled Makhachev due to his involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s camps. Sensing that could be an issue with the athletic comission, the UFC decided to pull the plug on the bout, although you have to wonder why the UFC didn’t realize Makhachev’s involvement in the brawl in the first place. Combate was first to report on the new fight.
Hernandez (10-1) is just 26 years old and is already one of the top lightweights in the UFC. He is currently riding an eight-fight win streak and since making his UFC debut earlier this year has already picked up a knockout win over Beneil Dariush and a decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier to jump in the top-15 at 155lbs. With powerful wrestling and big-time KO power, Hernandez is a guy who could potentially challenge for the lightweight belt in the future. Trinaldo (23-6) may be 40 years old but he is still at the top of his game. Overall he is 13-5 in the UFC and is coming off of a devastating knee KO over Evan Dunham that ended his career. Both Hernandez and Trinaldo are quality fighters but the fact Hernandez is so much younger and fresher should make him the favorite.
With this fight announcement, UFC 233 is shaping up very nicely. Also on the card are fights between TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo and Ben Askren and Robbie Lawler, making the first pay-per-view of 2019 very exciting on paper.
Tom Duquesnoy Injured, Out Of UFC 232
Some unforunate news as bantamweight prospect Tom Duquesnoy revealed on his Instagram that he is injured and is being forced to pull out of his UFC 232 fight opposite fellow prospect Nathaniel Wood. The UFC has yet to name a replacement opponent, though I would expect the UFC to consider having a flyweight that was due to be cut move up to bantamweight and fight Wood. There’s also a chance the Duquesnoy vs. Wood bout could be rescheduled for a future card.