Veteran lightweights kicked off the UFC Brasilia main card on Saturday. Held inside an empty Ginásio Nilson Nelson, on lockdown due to COVID-19, the fight saw Canada’s John Makdessi looking to build on a three-fight win streak. At 41 years old, meanwhile, Francisco Trinaldo was the elder statesman of the 155lb division, and looking to build off a win over Bobby Green back in November.
Trinaldo and Makdessi threw down at center early. Trinaldo, seemingly an ageless wonder, pressed the action, attacking first and forcing Makdessi to retreat. He went to the body with a kick; Makdessi would utilize a side kick of his own, but more to keep his opponent at bay than anything. Trinaldo would let his hands go at well, swinging hard when he did pull the trigger. The Brazilian took a measured pace, however, apparently looking to conserve energy.
The second saw more action on the feet, with Trinaldo leading the way. Again, it was a conservative pace, with Trinaldo choosing when to unleash his power. Makdessi relied on his kicks, side and leg kicks to the outside. Then another leg kick. Trinaldo’s left hand was cocked, and remained a threat. Makdessi circled, but when he was landing it wasn’t having the effect he no doubt would have liked. Trinaldo hit home with an uppercut late in the frame, and finished things off with a cartwheel kick attempt.
Round three saw Makdessi in need of some action, but while he continued to throw kicks, he wasn’t able to do much damage early. Trinaldo had slowed, but was still active enough to make the round competitive. Makdessi went high with a kick that was blocked. Trinaldo nearly caught one to the body. It might have been Makdessi’s round, but in the final minute it was the Brazilian pressing the action. He popped Makdessi with an uppercut, fired a front kick, then went over the top with a punch. He attempted a takedown just before the horn; that was stuffed, but he would land an elbow at the buzzer.
The end result was likely going to be dictated by how the judges scored the second round. Although in the end, two judges gave all three rounds to Trinaldo. “All my opponents keep running away from me for some reason,” he exclaimed after the fight.
Official Result: Francisco Trinaldo def. John Makdessi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)