Teammates Mike Trizano and John Gunther were friendly during their stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 27” – so friendly that, even as they prepared to square off in the tournament’s semifinal round, they did a skit together for the first ever “TUF” talent show.
The next day, at weigh-ins, the two went on to have a friendly face-off. With a spot in the lightweight tournament final of the still-ongoing season of the reality show on the line, though, the two Team Miocic fighters had to engage in a less-amicable exchange inside the cage.
After three rounds, Trizano (6-0) was declared the winner via unanimous decision. And while respect for Gunther (6-0) remains, at no point did their friendship come in play once the cage door closed.
“The relationship we had outside the cage had no effect what goes on inside the cage,” Trizano told MMAjunkie Radio. “At the end of the day, it’s a fight. It’s business. He’s in my way of my goal, and I had to go what I had to do. But that’s the sport. It’s not all about trash-talking and stuff like that. We have a mutual respect of each other. We enjoyed ourselves outside of the cage, and when it’s time to get down to business and fight, we fought. It is what it is.”
He echoed those sentiments on social media (via Twitter):
While Trizano beat two men inside the “TUF 27” house, Gunther and Thailand Clark, both are going to come out of the season the same way they came in: undefeated. That holds true for every fighter in the house. The reason for that, of course, is that the fights that take place throughout the season are considered exhibition bouts and, therefore, don’t go into their official professional records.
If it weren’t for that fact, Trizano would now be 8-0. But he isn’t mad. Ultimately, the fighter said the experience he’s gotten during his “TUF” outings makes up for how they could look on his record.
“I don’t really care about the record too much,” Trizano said. “It doesn’t take away from the experience I got from those fights, so I’m still learning from them.”
In any case, Trizano will get a chance to add to his record soon enough. More specifically, at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on July 6, when he meets the winner of the semifinal bout between Joe Giannetti vs. Allan Zuniga. The event takes place at Pearl Theater in Las Vegas and airs on FS1, with early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though a bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Trizano believes “it couldn’t have been a better week” to have his UFC debut and, considering the eyeballs that usually come with the company’s annual International Fight Week, we’re inclined to agree. He also gets to fight the day before “TUF 27” coach and heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, whom Trizano had no shortage of praise for after this season.
Considering Miocic is deep in his camp for the title meeting with fellow UFC champ Daniel Cormier, Trizano hasn’t been talking to the heavyweight kingpin directly. But Miocic’s coaches, he said, have checked up on him recently as per the champ’s request.
Trizano is looking forward to meeting him on fight week, though, and hopefully show he’s learned the biggest lesson Miocic taught him.
“Just to outwork people,” Trizano said. “If you work harder than the other guy, there’s a good chance you’re going to win.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Finalist Mike Trizano on biggest lesson learned from UFC champ and 'TUF 27' coach Stipe Miocic