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Michael Trizano reacts after his victory over Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Michael Trizano Looks To Always Challenge Himself

Going into a fight, Michael Trizano feeds off the feeling of being an underdog.

And when all is said and done, Trizano doesn’t want to say that he coasted through his journey in the UFC. He wants to be known as the one who stepped up to the challenges and fought the tough guys.

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“I fight because I want to challenge myself,” Trizano said ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland. “Fighting at the highest level, I have the opportunity. Every time I get an opponent, no one is going to be an easy fight.”

In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Michael Trizano punches Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Michael Trizano punches Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Michael Trizano punches Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

It’s been eight months since Trizano has been inside the Octagon after having a bout canceled in October due to issues with his opponent. The featherweight is eager to get back to fighting this weekend.

“He is a tough opponent, great fighter,” Trizano said. “I’m going to go in there and implement my game plan and push the pace. He is a tough dude, I am a tough dude, and we’ll see who is going to fold.”He’ll look to start 2022 off with a victory against Canadian Hakeem Dawodu. The 30-year-old is coming off a loss against Movsar Evloev at UFC 263 last June. Prior to that loss, Dawodu rattled off five straight wins.“It’s always good to have a little downtime so I can work on new stuff and improve my game, overall,” Trizano said. “I was supposed to fight in October, but that fell through, and they’ve been booking cards left and right, so I didn’t really have an opportunity to get a fight until this weekend, so I’m just excited to go in there and show a new and improved self.”

Since going pro in 2016, Trizano has registered two wins by knockout and two by submission, never suffering a loss by knockout. Dawodu comes from a Muay Thai background, while Trizano has shown his dominance on the ground.

MORE UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Jack Hermansson | Sean Strickland | Hakeem Dawodu | Jailton Almeida | Carlston Harris | Shavkat Rakhmonov | Tresean Gore | Bryan Battle | Miles Johns | Danilo Marques

But regardless of where the fight ends up, Trizano is prepared to bring Dawodu’s flaws to light.

“I think I am a little bit more well-rounded,” Trizano said. “I think I bring a whole ground game into the equation. I think I could use that my advantage, but I also think that I’m a higher-level striker than he is and it’s going to show this weekend.”

Michael Trizano warms up backstage prior to his bout against Grant Dawson during the UFC Fight Night event at Blue Cross Arena on May 18, 2019 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Trizano warms up backstage prior to his bout against Grant Dawson during the UFC Fight Night event at Blue Cross Arena on May 18, 2019 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Trizano warms up backstage prior to his bout against Grant Dawson during the UFC Fight Night event at Blue Cross Arena on May 18, 2019 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

The matchup this weekend is a big test for both featherweights as they try to make a push into the Top 15.

“I think this is a huge opportunity for me to prove that I belong in the Top 15,” Trizano said. “I think I do. I think I am a dangerous opponent for anybody. I match up well with anyone in the Top 15, I just have to go out there and do it.”

Trizano thrives under pressure and embraces challenges, and when people label him as the underdog, it makes him even more fired up to get into the Octagon. 

Michael Trizano attempts to secure a guillotine choke against Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Trizano attempts to secure a guillotine choke against Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Trizano attempts to secure a guillotine choke against Ludovit Klein of Slovakia in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 08, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“I want to be a better version of myself when I get in there, that’s why I take my training very seriously and look to improve. They got me as the betting underdog and everything like that, bring it on, make my family some money.”

Don't miss a single round of UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland, live from the UFC APEX on Saturday, February 5 on ESPN+. Prelims begin at 4pm ET/1pm PT. Main card begins at 7pm ET/4pm PT.

UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland took place on Saturday, January 15, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.