Longtime UFC veteran Francisco Trinaldo was handed his walking papers from the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion recently. Trinaldo, at 44-years-old, has been competing for the UFC since 2012. He has been a constant in the UFC’s lightweight and welterweight divisions, providing some entertaining finishes from time to time.
Before being released, Trinaldo suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Randy Brown in October of 2022, snapping a two-fight win streak. Now, for the first time since 2011, Trinaldo is without a UFC contract, and it remains to be seen what’s next for the Brazilian.
Francisco Trinaldo Reacts To UFC Release
Trinaldo got the opportunity to react to his release in an interview with MMA Fighting. Interestingly enough, the UFC had reached out to Trinaldo about competing at UFC 283 in Brazil on January 21, but was suddenly handed his walking papers instead.
“It was good for as long as it lasted,” Trinaldo said. “We feel a bit offended, but it’s also good to me because it gives me more energy to train.
“Not that I was tired of fighting in the UFC, but … it’s good that I’m going to fight for other promotions now, meet other people. MMA is only growing, so let’s leave that feeling in the past.”
As for what’s next for Trinaldo, he’s open to joining other promotions such as ONE Championship and Bellator MMA, however, the $1 million prize over in the PFL is certainly an intriguing possibility as well.
“We think about that [PFL] tournament, four fights a year, but when I fight, I do it for love,” he said.
“It’s good that I get paid to fight and put on that show, so that’s also a good option to think about the future. Not every promotion pays a million. We’re fighting for a long time, so that’s a good promotion to consider.”
Over the course of his career in the UFC, Trinaldo racked up a record of 18-8 under their banner. He’s scored key victories over names such as Paul Felder, Yancy Medeiros, Ross Pearson, Jim Miller, Bobby Green, and Evan Dunham at lightweight and welterweight. Despite his age, Trinaldo still feels younger than ever, and that he can still compete with the youth of the sport.
“I know I did good work in the UFC and I know I’ll do an even better job somewhere else,” Trinaldo said. “I feel younger and younger in MMA, training with the kids every day.”