Mike Trizano speaks with MyMMANews
It has been a little over a year since UFC featherweight Mike Trizano last stepped inside of the Octagon. Following a submission loss to Grant Dawson at UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Lee in May 2019, Trizano decided that it was time to take care of a knee injury that had been bothering him for quite a while and scheduled a surgery almost a month after the fight.
Trizano then spent the next three to four months rehabilitating his knee and was preparing to make his return by the end of the year but was stopped from doing so as the world went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With fights being paused for the early part of 2020, Trizano took the time to ensure his knee was in good health and made the necessary adjustments to resume proper training during this unprecedented time.
“I’ve just been doing some Zoom classes here and there, but I’ve been mainly focusing on my training, getting healthy and making sure that I can get back in the cage soon,” Trizano told MyMMANews. “That’s pretty much it. Our gym opened back up for just the pros, so we’ve been having training every day, which has been good, and that’s been going on for the last month now. I can’t complain. I’m enjoying this extra time, to be honest.”
Now back to work with his Tiger Schulmann teammates, Trizano is feeling more ready than ever to compete again. Initially, he wanted to come back sometime in early June, but the timetable for that has been pushed back due to a recent injury suffered in training.
Trizano said he sprained his ankle as he was defending a single-leg takedown and has been working on getting that back to good health as well before accepting a fight.
“I’m damn near close to [100 percent],” said Trizano. “I had the surgery over a year ago, so I haven’t fought in over a year. Definitely had a little set back just with the recovery process, but my knee has been feeling great and I’ve been training fully and that’s pretty much it. I sprained my ankle about three weeks ago and I’ve been kind of nursing that back to normal, but for the most part I am healthy, and I am itching to get back in there.
“I’ve been trying to get myself back, but I’m not going to do it unless I’m 100 percent. I’d like to say the safe bet is probably closer to September, but hopefully if not, it’ll be mid-August. We’ll see.”
As Trizano aims for a return sometime in the fall, it is hard not to point out how long of a layoff this has been for him. Throughout his professional mixed martial arts career, Trizano has never taken an extended period like this off, so not being able to fight has been somewhat hard for him.
Although it has only been a year and a few months, the idea of “ring rust” always seems to pop up when talking about a fighter’s eventual return, but Trizano is unfazed by such a concept.
In fact, he believes the time away has made him a better fighter overall.
“I’ve definitely been super active my entire career. This is really the first time I’ve had a long layoff due to injury. This was also my first time getting surgery to begin with, but I’m not worried at all. I feel like I’ve gotten sharper actually from the long time being away. I think the rest was a good thing. Sometimes, when you don’t train for a little bit and you come back and you feel sharp, I feel like that is how I feel right now. It was a necessary delay and I think it’s only going to benefit me.”
In the time that Mike Trizano has been away, the featherweight division has continued to grow itself into one of the more exciting divisions in the UFC. New names have shown up and made their presence known, while established veterans are getting back to work in hopes of climbing up the rankings and earning a title shot. Having seen all the movement, Trizano cannot wait to jump back into the fray, but he is not planning on calling anyone out. He simply wants one of their names.
“I got no one specific. Just put someone in front of me. I just want to get back in there, so it doesn’t matter,” said Trizano. “I’ve never been a sh*t talker, so when it comes to calling people out and stuff like that, it just doesn’t flow like a Conor McGregor would. I think a lot of people try and take that approach and it only really works if you have it. I don’t, so I’m not going to try to do it.”
Trizano has almost everything figured out as it relates to his return except for one thing: where it will be. For the last few weeks, the UFC has been putting on fight cards at the APEX Center in Las Vegas with no audience in attendance. At this time, it does seem as though this will more than likely continue on as COVID-19 cases are starting to rise again.
This would not be the first time Mike Trizano has had to compete in front of little to no audience as it is reminiscent of his time on the Ultimate Fighter, but he admits he prefers hearing the roar of the crowd as opposed to silence when he fights.
“I’m fine with it, but I’d definitely rather have the crazy, loud arena but it is what it is,” said Trizano. “It’s not going to affect my performance. [The energy] from the crowd is a part of the whole process because you want to get the whole feel of it before you fight. Being able to overcome your nerves and everything like that, especially when you walk out and the place erupts. It’s just a different feeling and I look forward to that type of rush, but when you walk out and it’s quiet, its not the same. You kind of have to hype yourself up.”
The year may not be over yet, but Trizano is already looking forward to making up for lost time. Fighting one time in 2020 is not ideal for the “Lone Wolf”, but he will take it considering his ambitious plans to stay extremely active in 2021.
“I want to try and fight three or four times. That’s my goal. Once every three months? Why not. It’s possible.”
Who do you want to see Mike Trizano fight in his return?