Frank Trigg on Niko Vitale: ‘He'll Try to Get Me in Half Guard and Beat the Crap Out of Me'

Frank Trigg will fight Niko Vitale on Friday night at Strikeforce: Payback, and he gave me a few minutes of his time today for a Q&A in which we discussed his preparations for the fight, making weight and what kind of opponent Vitale is.

What are your preparations like, three days out from a fight?
We've got to make weight on Thursday, so I'm mostly working on making weight. I want to rest and sleep as much as I can to recharge the batteries after eight or nine weeks of training camp. I'm trying to stay comfortable, eating as little as I can, eating the right stuff and practicing once a day for an hour and a half with a warm up and cool down.

Is making weight difficult for you? Do you dislike it?
I've been doing it for so long. I was an amateur wrestler, so I was in a sport where you always had to make weight, so I'm used to it by now.

How much do you weigh today?
I'm about 195-196 right now, and I have to be 185 on Thursday.

And cutting 11 pounds over the next couple days won't be tough?
No, if I had to I could do it in one day. If they called me today and said the schedule had changed and I had to weigh in tomorrow, I could be down to 185 by then.

You haven't had a lot of time off since fighting Makoto Takimoto on August 24. Is six weeks off between fights enough?
No, I usually like to have a longer time off between fights, but that's just how this worked out. I have a contract in Japan, I have a contract with HDNet and they just put me on this card.

Your contract is with HDNet, not Strikeforce?
Right, Strikeforce basically used my HDNet contract to get me on the Strikeforce card. I didn't expect to fight this fight, but they negotiated to get me on this card.

What kind of a fight do you expect from Niko Vitale?
With Niko it's going to be different because he's more of a brawler. He's got jiujitsu skills, but he doesn't use them much. He tries to get you down, get you into half guard and beat the crap out of you. He's really smart in how he fights, and he's very strong. He's a year older than me. I think it's going to be a big war. A brawl and a war. He's a guy that wants to prove himself and he wants to do that against me. And I want to prove myself and I think I'm going to do that.

Strikeforce: Payback airs live on HDNet at 10 p.m. Eastern Friday. Keep checking MMA FanHouse for more from Trigg, including how he thinks he would fare against Anderson Silva, his prediction for Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar, and what he expects Fedor Emelianenko to do next.

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