The 32-year-old Jamaican fighter Randy “Rude Boy” Brown is currently on a three-fight win streak following a knockout loss to Luque in 2020. Brown’s UFC record, which extends back to 2016, is 9-4, with five wins and three losses coming inside the distance.
Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo has been in the UFC for over a decade and has amassed an 18-7 record. Trinaldo has won four of his last five, with all but one fight going the distance.
Brown vs. Trinaldo is one of this weekend’s fights happening at UFC Fight Night 211. Subscribe to ESPN+ to watch every UFC fight live.
Brown opened as a smaller favorite, but the market quickly corrected as money came in to back “Rude Boy.”
Brown has been on everyone’s “one to watch out for” radar for a few years now. He is incredibly long for the division, dangerous wherever the fight goes, and has a marketable personality and style. Yet, he remains unranked. This is because Brown, historically, has lost to the upper levels of the division. In the UFC, three of his four losses have come against currently or previously ranked fighters. Until recently, Brown’s game hasn’t really “clicked,” and high-level fighters have taken advantage.
Recently, though, Brown seems to finally be realizing his potential. In his three most recent fights, he has fought three archetypes of fighters- a well-rounded veteran, a wrestler with pressure and cardio, and a dangerous striker. Brown has shown an ability to neutralize his opponents’ strengths while maximizing his own. Brown is a lanky striker who uses his range advantage well on the feet. He fights behind a snappy and intelligent jab and follows up his prodding shots with precise and powerful combinations. Specifically, Brown’s 1-2-head kick is as dangerous as it is impressive to watch. Brown’s striking is varied and fundamental while his movement is technical and athletic.
When offensively grappling, Brown transitions positions fluidly and can find a neck quickly. In Brown’s most recent fights, the most important improvement he’s shown is awareness and striking defense. Early in his career, Brown would go all-in on offense and ignore defense. Recently, though, he’s shown impressive head movement, stance switching, and a willingness to exit the pocket rather than stand toe to toe in a brawl. If Brown can continue to improve his defense, he has all the offensive tools to not only climb the rankings but do so with fun fights and finishes.
At 44 years old, Trinaldo’s best attribute is veteran craftiness. That’s how he’s won his last two fights, he’s taken away his opponent’s primary method of attack and forced his opponent to fight with a backup game plan. Trinaldo’s approach might not win him more fans but has won him back-to-back fights. Trinaldo is a short and stout striker who, if he can safely get in tight, still has the technical boxing and surprising hand speed to land clean combinations.
Even more impressively, considering his age, is Trinaldo’s cardio and output. He has been able to land with accuracy and consistency over the course of 3 rounds without slowing as the fight goes. He is not a volume striker who weaponizes cardio, but he is a combination striker who accumulates damage as the fight goes on. Trinaldo’s ground game, in his prime, is what separated him from other pocket combination strikers. The knowledge is still there but his offensive grappling seems to have gone away with age. Now, Trinaldo’s grappling is more defensive, using his experience to survive on the mat and avoid bad positions. His path to victory is to take away a one-note fighter’s preferred attack. But, against well-rounded fighters, Trinaldo has struggled to find a way for his best approach to beat the best approach of another fighter.
The book on Trinaldo, even when he was in his prime, is that he struggles against bigger and longer fighters who use range well. Brown is more than a decade younger, is much faster, much more varied, and has the length that has historically given Trinaldo fits. Brown should be able to easily win this fight, which is why I prefer him in parlays. But, as a straight play, I like Brown to find a submission later in the fight, possibly after cracking Trinaldo on the feet.
Pick: Brown by submission