On Sept. 19, 2009 Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg will make his first Octagon appearance in four years when he faces off with top ten middleweight Josh Koscheck at UFC 103 in Dallas, Texas.
PROMMA.INFO spoke with Trigg in the final days leading up to the fight to see where his head is, how it feels being back in the big show, what he has been working on in his MMA development, who he has been training with, where he feels he has improved the most, and if we could expect to hear any of that old Trigg smack talk.
FRANK TRIGG – interview:
What we have in my opinion is a wiser Trigg. He’s grown up a lot I think. Still confident of course but also very humble. He realizes being back in the UFC is a huge opportunity for him and he doesn’t take it for granted. I get the feeling he knows this is his final chance to give it his all and to really leave his mark on the sport. He has put aside all distractions; no more radio, no more clothing company, it’s just him, his family, and his mission. Anything is possible in the cage, but I honestly feel he has the advantage going into this fight and with him as a pretty big underdog, I would put my money on Twinkle Toes.
PRO MMA: Has life been a little less hectic without the radio show and without having to worry about Triggonomics, have you been able to buckle down and just concentrate solely on training?
FRANK TRIGG: Yeah, yeah, I mean it’s not any less hectic, it’s just more practicing during the day as opposed to radio shows you know.
PRO MMA: As a first fight back in the UFC, is Koscheck an ideal opponent for you?
FRANK TRIGG: No, an ideal opponent would be some tomato can that would walk out there and I could just scare the crap of them and they would just fall over. Koscheck’s a tough opponent. This is a guy that really wants to fight so…
PRO MMA: Have you ever had any dealings with him, have you ever met the guy before?
FRANK TRIGG: I’ve met the guy a couple of times. I mean we don’t hang out socially or anything, a couple of forty-five cent conversations, nothing big.
PRO MMA: What were your thoughts when you first learned you would be fighting Koscheck?
FRANK TRIGG: Ummm, I really didn’t have any thoughts. I was more concerned about, am I going to be able to get in shape, and now that I’ve begged to come back and they’ve accepted me, what’s going to happen and how far am I going to be able to put this stuff together to be able to fight. That was kind of the deciding factor. Then we didn’t really start thinking about Koscheck as an opponent until the eight week training camp started. But I had started twelve weeks out cause I had to try to get my body put together and try to get things worked out as far as training and getting the bones and joints used to training and working out again and all that stuff.
PRO MMA: Is there a little de ja vu at at all with all the old guys around again such as you, Tito, Hughes, Hallman, you’re all back in the UFC now. Does it feel like the old days all over again?
FRANK TRIGG: A little bit, you know it does feel a little bit like the old days again, but you know it is what it is. You kind of battle the way you battle and do what you do and each person presents a different style and brings something different to the table and hopefully we can still make that happen.
PRO MMA: Why do you think the UFC is intentionally bringing back all these older great fighters at this particular moment in time?
FRANK TRIGG: I couldn’t even speculate on what they’re doing. I don’t know if they’re trying to tie all the talent up or if they’re trying to make sure no one else can have them or I don’t know, hopefully in my case it’s because I’m still viable, because I still have the ability to fight, that I can still bring something to the welterweight division, that’s why they’re brining me, ya know. I’m hoping that’s why they brought me back. I don’t know why they brought the other guys back to be honest with you. I’m hoping that they brought me back because they want me to compete at a high level.
PRO MMA: It seems like they were getting some new fresh talent in but a lot of them didn’t have a name yet.
FRANK TRIGG: Well, I don’t know how much of a name I have. All the new guys out there, all the new fans out there don’t know who in the hell I am so I don’t know how much of a name I am. I’ve been gone for four years and people don’t really know anything about me, so I don’t think they brought me back for name recognition per se.
PRO MMA: I don’t know man, you still have a huge name. If you look at the guys you’ve lost to, there’s not a single scrub on that list.
FRANK TRIGG: That’s true, but there’s still a lot of fans out there that have no idea who I am or what I’m doing, so we’ll see.
PRO MMA: What have you been concentrating on the most since your fight with Babcock, is there one area of your game you’ve been focusing on more than the other?
FRANK TRIGG: Conditioning and weight. You know I haven’t really been in great shape the last three years. I haven’t really been concentrating on my conditioning at all because I didn’t really have to cut that much weight. Walking around at 200 lbs. I could make 185 lbs. relatively easy, it doesn’t take much. I just kind of willed my way through it. Now I have to really concentrate on my conditioning and all the guys at welterweight are ready to bring it. Any one of these guys are ready to fight and fight all night long. You’ve got to be ready to go all fifteen minutes at a high pace. Really working on my conditioning and my hand speed and my foot speed and really getting my body used to moving again.
PRO MMA: Have you made that practice cut yet?
FRANK TRIGG: No, I don’t believe in practice cuts.
PRO MMA: Do you think there will be any trouble come fight time?
FRANK TRIGG: There’s always going to be trouble making weight. It’s always a problem. If it wasn’t a problem everyone would be doing it. It’s always difficult making weight, but it’s just part of the sport and part of what we got to do.
PRO MMA: But you will make it right?
FRANK TRIGG: Yeah, yeah, I have to. It’s part of my contract.
PRO MMA: What do you think you’ve improved on the most since your last fight?
FRANK TRIGG: Improved on the most? I don’t know…being comfortable on my back, being comfortable playing the jiu-jitsu game for MMA. I’m more comfortable on my back, I’m more comfortable in reaching for different submissions and different positions; like I’m more comfortable down underneath somebody than I used to be.
PRO MMA: Who are some of the guys you’ve been working with lately.
FRANK TRIGG: Vinny Magalhaes, Martin Kampmann, Ray Sefo, Vitor Belfort, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron. That’s about it as far as “name” people.
PRO MMA: You were always known for being great on the mic and smack talk was almost one of your trademarks. I know you’ve toned it down a lot over the years and let your talking be more inside the cage lately. But if you win and you get back under those lights with those thousands of screaming fans and on pay per view, and Joe Rogan gives you that mic, could we hear you call out one of your old rivals or bring back some of that old Trigg. Or is that old Trigg gone?
FRANK TRIGG: Who am I gonna call out? There are no old rivals left that are worth a shit. It’s all the new guys like Alves and Fitch…I didn’t know anything about these cats three years ago and now these guys are the top end people. These are the guys you gotta look to battle against. All these other folks, I don’t know anything about them, so I’m kind of just trying to find my way through, so there’s really no one to call out. I’m not ready for a St. Pierre yet. After I beat Koscheck, just because I beat Koscheck doesn’t put me in the title hunt. Martin Kampmann’s got a shot before I do. So it’s just a question of what are we going to do and how are we going to make a battle. So I don’t think there’s really anyone for me to call out. It’s just who am I gonna fight next and when I’m gonna fight next are the questions.
PRO MMA: Would you want a re-match with Hughes?
FRANK TRIGG: Not particularly. He’s already beat me twice so there’s nothing for me to gain out of it.
PRO MMA: Finally, can you give the fans a prediction of how the fight will end or at least what they can expect to see Saturday night at UFC 103?
FRANK TRIGG: Well most of my fights end violently and they end early and this one’s going to be no different. We’ve got two guys standing in front of each other willing to go toe-to-toe, willing to battle for the deep end of the pool, so I think you’re gonna see this is the kind of battle you’re gonna be able to see. It’s going to be high-paced, high-action, we’re right in the middle of the ring, we’re both standing there banging with each other, swinging for the fences, and one of us is gonna get knocked down, dropped down and that’s how it’s going to end.
PRO MMA: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at PRO MMA, is there any one you would like to thank?
FRANK TRIGG: I need to thank United Nissan out here in Las Vegas. I need to thank Silver Star clothing company and Zappos.com. I just signed my deal with Zappos today, so it was pretty cool.
By: Jack Bratcher