The UFC is back for its final trip (for now) at the Fight Island — properly Yas Island — in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The card is headlined by middleweight contenders in former champ Robert Whittaker taking on Darren Till. A lot of legends are on this card, including Shogun Rua vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira and Fabrício Werdum vs. Alexander Gustafsson. As well, the event is full of newcomers, including Englishman Jai Herbert. Jai will be making his octagon debut against UFC veteran Francisco Trinaldo (25-7 MMA, 15-6 UFC).
Jai “The Black Country Banger” Herbert
Team Renegade BJJ
How will Herbert fare in the UFC:
Herbert is an excellent signing being a former Cage Warriors champion beating stiff competition along the way. He’s a pure striker who has decent wrestling and holds his own on the mat. The wrestling really isn’t there but he has decent wizard and okay judo.
On top, he does have the ability to take the back and lock in the body triangle. With that said, his grappling and wrestling won’t be a factor in the UFC. Just on the feet all together Herbert is a lethal guy. Herbert is a super technical striker throwing tight straight punches, throwing a crisp one-two, and with a very educated jab. He’ll utilize a lot of kicks throwing leg kicks, teep kicks, and going to the head. It’s not heavy kickboxing as it is more just to touch opponents.
In the clinch in where the banger does his best work. His Muay Thai is top-notch from the control to the short elbows to the devastating knees. On the feet, he throws with no wasted motion as he usually finds the target when he attacks. Herbert will go after the head more often than not but will throw combinations to the body. Herbert is all around such an excellent striker and Muay Thai fighter, and his only downside would be his takedown defense. It’s not to say that his takedown defense is horrible, but it’s an area he can improve a lot on. He relies on his movement so he won’t get shot in on. At times though he goes down easy from shots he should have read coming in. Off his back, he uses his long legs throwing them up threatening the triangle and the armbar, and he is good at getting back to his feet. Outside of that if he can’t get up quickly enough opponents have been able to pass his guard quite easily.
Herbert is going do quite well in the UFC and may even reach the top 15 at some point. However, a few weak points could hold him back, like his takedown/grappling defense and already being 32-years-old.
How he matches up with Trinaldo:
This is a stupid fight for Trinaldo since he’s coming off two wins over Bobby Green and John Makdessi and then he gets a newcomer next. This is a huge opportunity for Herbert to beat a veteran in his debut. Trinaldo path to victory is his wrestling but he really doesn’t wrestle even against seasoned strikers. He’s not even a wrestler I think will be able to hold Herbert down or be able to keep taking Herbert down. On the feet, Herbert has a huge advantage and Trianaldo doesn’t even throw a lot of output. I expect Trinaldo to have his moments but I think Jai will peace him up for three rounds.