James Vick got off to a strong start Sunday at UFC Austin, and cruised to a decision over Francisco Trinaldo, protecting the lead in the third.
UFC Fight Night 126, better known as UFC Austin, went down in Austin, TX on Sunday night at the Frank Erwin Center. On the main card on Fox Sports 1, Texas’ own James Vick — who had been campaigning to fight a ranked opponent — took on Francisco Trinaldo in lightweight action.
With Vick ranked 12th and Trinaldo 14th in the lightweight division, who would move up the ladder Sunday? Vick had a considerable height and reach advantage against Trinaldo, and went to the head early with a kick. Vick followed that up with a right hand moments later that caught Trinaldo. Trinaldo, however, recovered well, and bought some time in a clinch along the fence. He then began walking Vick down, as the taller fighter circled out of the way. However, Vick was able to use his reach effectively, firing off kicks, knees, and soon enough another right hand that dropped Trinaldo. Vick followed him down, only to be reversed; Trinaldo was able to get on top, and work from Vick’s guard. Vick then gave up his neck while climbing back to his feet, which allowed Trinaldo to lock in a guillotine! It looked tight, but Vick gave the thumbs up, and eventually broke free. Back on the feet, he fired off a knee on the break, and UFC Austin looked to have another barn burner on its hands.
It didn’t last. Round two found Trinaldo able to score a takedown in the opening minute, but James Vick was right back to his feet. Vick then returned the favor and took the back, but Trinaldo powered back up. Vick next landed a head kick clean, but without enough power to drop his opponent. The round found Trinaldo looking a little tired, and the action slowed a step, though ultimately it was a closer round than the first.
Trinaldo went on the offensive early in the round three. There was a good chance he was down two rounds to none. Vick was on the defensive, circling out of the danger zone. When he did attack, Vick fired off single kicks to the thigh and body. He was careful to keep Trinaldo on the outside, protecting the lead. In the end it worked, with all three judges seeing it two rounds to one for James Vick.
James Vick def. Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)