Steely veteran Francisco Trinaldo is the hometown hero in this matchup, and Detroit native Kevin Lee – whose most notable UFC moment came when he accused the Power That Be of being racist for giving Sage Northcutt such a big push – is the clear villain.
Round 1 has Lee trying to impose his will with his wrestling. Trinaldo knows this is coming, of course, and he’s successful at sprawling and countering with guillotine and neck cranks while the American is ducking low. Lee does score a takedown, and when they scramble up Trinaldo wobbles him with a hellacious left, so yeah, this one is going back and forth.
The second round sees Lee far more judicious with his takedown attempts, which enables him to conserve energy but also allows Trinaldo to pick and choose his strikes. And yet the gambit pays off, as Lee stuns his foe with a high-kick and uses that as the opening to get the fight to the ground. From mount to back-mount, Lee is in control, and he soon has the rear naked choke in place. Trinaldo taps.
Results: Kevin Lee def. Francisco Trinaldo via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:12, R2