The main card of Dillashaw vs. Cruz kicks off with an entertaining lightweight bout between Ross Pearson and Francisco Trinaldo. This is a matchup between two veterans who are looking for a win come January 17, in order to get their name in the division rankings.

Pearson started off in the UFC by winning the Ultimate Fighter 9 season back in 2009. He has struggled during his time in the UFC to pull together wins and has had a hard time being consistent. It has seemed during his career that he is superior to most of his opponents but when he gets a step up in competition he is unable to pull off a victory. At 31 years old, Pearson is running out of time to make a run in the lightweight division and he will have a chance to get himself a ranked opponent if he is able to beat Francisco Trinaldo.

Trinaldo is coming off of his best performance to date where he looked incredible against The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia winner Chad Laprise via first round TKO. Trinaldo has flown under the radar in the division, as he is impressively on a 4 fight win streak since 2014. He has finally been noticed by the UFC brass with a matchup against a big name in Ross Pearson, and if he is able to pull off a win he will be guaranteed to get a ranked opponent in the deep lightweight division.

“The Real Deal” Pearson has excellent standup, as well as serious KO power that will certainly test Trinaldo. It seems that every fight Francisco Trinaldo enters in he is overlooked, and with a win over a dangerous fighter in Ross Pearson, people will have no choice but to start seeing Francisco Trinaldo as a serious threat.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.