Trigg returns to UFC in search of elusive title

Frank Trigg has been as close to winning an Ultimate Fighting Championship title as one can get without actually having the belt secured around his waist.

He appeared to have then-champion Matt Hughes beaten when he locked in a choke, but Hughes fought off the maneuver and moments later cinched in a choke of his own to retain the title.

That was in 2005.

Trigg lost his next fight in the UFC to Georges St. Pierre and was soon out of the organization.

After more than four years spent toiling around the minor circuits, doing broadcasting work and a radio show, running a clothing company and appearing on a reality show, Trigg will return to the company to fight Josh Koscheck on Saturday at UFC 103 in Dallas.

The 37-year-old Las Vegan has a simple goal as he makes his return to the octagon. He wants to finally capture the title that eluded him the first time around.

Trigg knows he faces an uphill climb.

“It might be two or three fights before they even start talking about me being in the hunt, and then I’d have to win another fight to actually be in the hunt,” he said. “So, it might be four or five fights before I’m actually there. It’s the reason why I’m back. I’m trying to win the title. I want to fight the best guys in the world, and all the best guys are here.”

He also understands the UFC has come a long way in the four years he has been away.

“It’s a totally different ballgame now. These guys are developed, and they understand what the sport is all about,” Trigg said. “A guy like St. Pierre, what did he do before mixed martial arts? Mixed martial arts. He did nothing before mixed martial arts, and he’s one of the best guys out there.”

It’s that type of fighter that is going to continue to evolve the sport, said Trigg, a standout collegiate wrestler before switching to MMA.

“We’re going to have a whole generation of guys that all they’ve ever done is MMA. That’s how it’s going to be,” he said.

He takes pride in the notion that he is part of a generation of fighters that laid the groundwork for where the sport is headed.

“You cannot have LeBron James. You cannot have Kobe Bryant. You cannot have these great basketball stars without Michael Jordan first,” Trigg said. “You cannot have Barry Bonds without Babe Ruth. It’s impossible.

“You cannot have the future without the old guys like me that did it first. That’s just how the sport is going to progress. Is it going to get more athletic and more acrobatic? You better freaking believe it because the kids are going to get younger and smarter about it.”

That’s why Trigg knows he must reach his goal now while he still can compete.

“I don’t have much time left. I’ve got to get out of the way of the sport. It’s going to develop too much around me,” he said. “Age and wisdom can only take you so far before it catches up with you.”

Still, he couldn’t shake the dream of capturing a UFC belt. He called and “begged” for a place on a card. The organization finally relented and matched Trigg with Koscheck, whom he calls a “mirror image” of himself at that stage of his career.

Trigg said he now feels more free to train and compete as he no longer is doing a daily radio show or regularly doing color commentary for MMA television broadcasts.

Trigg also has scaled back on his clothing company “Triggonomics” and has no immediate plans to participate in any more reality shows, as he did on the short-lived “Kept” on VH1.

“If you’re in the NFL, do you do broadcast work and have clothing lines? Unless you’re (Terrell Owens), you’re not doing all that other crap. You’re basically a football player, and that’s what you do,” he said. “Same thing here in the UFC. If you’re going to be in the UFC, you’ve got to just be a fighter, and it’s helped me now not to be doing those other things.”

Even through all the distractions, Trigg has compiled a 7-2 record since his UFC exit. He will put his newfound focus to the test against Koscheck.

Trigg enters as a 3-1 underdog, but Koscheck has dropped two of his last three fights and is coming off a foot injury.

If Trigg can pull the upset, his path to the title could be back on track after a four-year detour.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at or 702-224-5509.

Covering The Cage Videos
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
UFC donates $240,000 to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
UFC presents Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada with $240,000 donation and promises to grant more wishes as the partnership goes forward.
Benavidez on his new contract, future of the UFC flyweight division
UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who is booked to fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN Plus, discusses his role as an alternate for the title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, his new 4-fight contract and the future of the 125-pound division.
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Home Front Page Footer Listing