UFC Denver: Mike Trizano, Looking Sharp, Sees Violent Bob Ross Having Reach Advantage, But Nothing Else

After winning The Ultimate Fighter 27, Mike Trizano is facing former castmate Luis Pena — who he admits has a reach advantage, if nothing else.

Denver, CO — Decked out in a suit provided by one of his sponsors (Shinesty), TUF 27 winner Mike Trizano was looking sharp at the UFC Denver media day. The undefeated fighter (7-0) won the show back in July, and Saturday night will mark his second trip to the octagon in the UFC. His first not part of the TUF Finale.

If there was any knock on Trizano, it was that he didn’t face his upcoming opponent, Luis Pena, during The Ultimate Fighter 27. Pena was a favorite on the series, but was forced out due to injury. Awarded a contract anyway, he won his debut, also at the TUF 27 Finale, against Richie Smullen.

Although he was fighting for a job in his last fight, the feeling is no different at UFC Denver for Trizano. “It’s just another fight, man. I’m just excited to be here,” he said. “I treat every fight like it’s a step up, and it always is. It just gets tougher and tougher, so I just gotta keep improving myself, training hard, kicking butt, that’s it.”

A simple formula, and on top, the TUF winner tries to learn “from every single one of my fights. I always go back, watch my previous fight, see what I can make better. And just overall improve my game.”

When it comes to opponent Pena, a.k.a. Violent Bob Ross, Trizano isn’t bothered by being called out. “It doesn’t matter to me. A lot of people are having trouble finding opponents. Mine called me out.”

Breaking down the bout, Trizano admitted that Pena “definitely has a big advantage in reach. I mean, the dude’s like a Sasquatch. But I really think that’s the only advantage he has. Just the length, and the reach. But just close the distance, and hit him hard.”

Any contention that this is a fight that had to happen, because it might have happened on the show, doesn’t fly with the TUF champ. Pena, of course, wound up with an injured leg. Otherwise, there’s a good chance to pair would have fought months ago. “Show’s over. The show ended in July,” Trizano pointed out. “You can argue ‘aww I should have won,’ this and that. Injury’s a part of the sport. You can’t stop that. Everyone gets banged up. I was banged up on the show. Unfortunately, his was a little more severe. But look, it is what it is. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s just another fight. He’s in the UFC, I’m in the UFC. Nothing to complain about.”

After Pena, you might think Trizano would want to leave TUF behind. Meaning, no more fights with fellow cast mates. Though, it doesn’t seem as if he has a preference, in the end. “I’m going to fight whoever the UFC wants me to fight. I don’t care, I just want to be active. That’s the only thing I’m looking forward to, just fighting every three or four months. Being a part of this great organization. That’s it.”

He’s not looking for notoriety. “I want to get in there and fight, that’s all I want to do. I don’t care about the fame, the exposure, I just want to get in there and compete. It’s in my blood.”

Asked about Pena getting so much attention on social media, Trizano admitted that “he’s doing a great job of marketing himself. I mean obviously social media is blowing up for him. That’s the way you market yourself nowadays. I think he’s done a great job with that.” Also admitting that it benefits him as well, since he’s fighting Pena, he added that “everyone takes it differently. I’m not living on social media, I’m not all about that. I’m just living my life, man. If you want to follow me, follow me.”