There aren’t many fields of work where you idolize people for having a knack for dragging competitors into deep waters and drowning them, but combat sports are a weird place.
Cage Warriors prospect Alex Trinidad grew up with dreams of one day living in Iowa City, Iowa. Not exactly the ideal destination for the average man, but growing up as a wrestler, Trinidad has never been average.
“When I was coming up, Dan Gable was the coach of the Iowa wrestling team and my whole dream in life was to wrestle for Dan Gable,” Trinidad said. “I’ve been an Iowa wrestling fan since I was ten years old. A lot of people from my school were big Iowa wrestling fans, except for like two people, but we didn’t really care for those guys. They were Iowa State fans.”
It’s never been the trophies in the Iowa mantle. It’s never been about the appeal of living in Iowa or the mascot the Hawkeyes don on their uniforms. It’s always been about the style of wrestling the team has possessed Trinidad’s whole life that has aided his gravitation from California to America’s heartland.
“The way the team carried themselves, I was a big fan of his style of wrestling, which is push, push, push, and just kind of grind people in that Iowa style,” Trinidad explained. “I still kind of emulate that. We had a couple guys like Brent Metcalf and a couple guys came to our gym and gave some seminars and I fell in love with the way they wrestled and Dan Gable’s whole mentality of wrestling. Becoming a champion has kind of been in my head since I was a kid.”
Another influence in Trinidad’s life was a figure in an entirely different sport. Dan Gable and a heavyweight boxer may not appear to have much in common, but Trinidad would argue that Dan Gable and Mike Tyson are more similar than they are different when the timer starts.
“The style is pretty much the same,” Trinidad said. “They’re there to go from start to finish, straight-forward just wanting to drown you and kill you. My fight style emulates that. I want to simulate drowning. I want my opponent to drown and never give them a breath. I want him to feel like he’s dying the whole time he’s fighting me. I feel like they have the same styles, really.”
When “fight mode” is de-activated, Trinidad is as laid back as they come, with nothing but respect on his mind. Is he the next iteration of Gable and Tyson?
Can he go from fun to aggression in the blink of an eye? Find out at Cage Warriors 137!
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