A pair of gritty UFC veterans returned to action at UFC Sao Paulo on Saturday when Jim Miller ventured into hostile territory to take on Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo.
UFC Fight Night 119 was not short on veteran fighters, with names like Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Demian Maia topping the card. There was another notable veteran talent in action Saturday, however, as Jim Miller returned to the octagon against Francisco Trinaldo.
Miller, with the UFC since 2008, was on a three fight win streak prior to dropping back-to-back fights to Dustin Poirier and ex-lightweight champ Anthony Pettis earlier this year. Trinaldo, for his part, came into UFC Sao Paulo off a loss to Kevin Lee — but had won seven straight prior to that.
If you were looking to pick a Fight of the Night contender, you could do worse than Miller vs. Trinaldo. Of note, Miller was making his 28th trip to the octagon.
Miller opened up the action with a jab, and the fighters looked happy to stand and throw early. Miller unloaded with single shots, while Trinaldo answered with combinations. Miller’s right hand then dropped the Brazilian, but Franciso Trinaldo managed to end up on top, inside Miller’s guard. It was Miller, however, who landed the best strike from this position, an elbow from the bottom. Sensing the futility of keeping the action on the ground, Trinaldo backed off and allowed Miller back up.
It was Miller who would initiate the next trip to the mat. Changing levels under a Trinaldo punch, he secured a double leg takedown. From within Trinaldo’s guard, Miller had a full two minutes to work to improve position and find a submission, with his corner loud and clear in their directions. Posturing up, he would land a couple of heavy shots, and avoid the submission game of the Brazilian. Back up with just seconds remaining, Trinaldo would attempt a flying knee, which would take things to the second.
In the second, Trinaldo would look for a home for his knees to the body. Miller, meanwhile, was leading with an elbow, but ate a left by Trinaldo that backed him up about ninety seconds into the round. Trinaldo looked to be winning the exchanges in the clinch, while Miller began adding in some kicks. The pair began opening up mid-round, with both fighters landing some solid shots. Miller would put a stop to the stand-and-trade approach with a takedown, only to find his opponent able to take advantage and get on top. From half guard, Trinaldo worked to pass, then opted to work from there, landing some rough shots to the head of Miller.
Round three saw Trinaldo pressing forward, forcing Miller into defensive mode. A knee attempt forced Miller into a poorly timed shot in, and Jim Miller appeared to be in trouble. Trinaldo began working him over, but the American would survive. He’d end the round with Trinaldo on top, however, and it was the Brazilian who took home the victory.
Francisco Trinaldo def. Jim Miller by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)