Featherweight prospect Omar Trinidad didn’t get any cake, enjoy a special meal, or go out for his birthday earlier this week on January 21. He didn’t indulge himself on Christmas or New Year’s Eve either.
Don’t feel too sorry for Trinidad. The only present he wants is a victory in the main event on Saturday, January 27, on the first UFC Fight Pass/360 Promotions “Hollywood Fight Nights” card of 2024 at the Commerce Casino.
“It comes with the sport, the sacrifices. I’m ready to go to do that,” said Trinidad speaking to NY Fights. “That’s a big birthday present to myself. I can’t wait to have it on my shoulder, bring it back home, and put it on a glass shelf.”
Trinidad of Boyle Heights (14-0-1, 11 KOs) faces his Los Angeles fight scene rival José ‘El Mudo’ Pérez (11-2-2, 5 KOs) of Oak Hills in his first scheduled ten-round bout with the WBC Continentals America Featherweight title on the line. The card streams live via UFC Fight Pass at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Omar Trinidad Puts On A Show
Referring to himself as The Showman, Trinidad says he loves what he does, and he’s living the dream. “To me, it’s just another day in the office and having fun, I love having fun generally. I’m having fun up there, showcasing my skills and putting on a show for my city, Boyle Heights. I’m glad they enjoy it, glad they accept me and buy a ticket to see me again.”
Trinidad proudly wears his identity as a representative of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. “There's a reason why I go into the gym and train and train hard. I love to put on a show for the people, and hopefully, I give them the fight of the night.”
Trinidad says he loves the enthusiasm of Southern California fight fans, the “chaos” with people getting on their seats and going wild. “I’m grateful for the support.”
Inspired by Jorge “El Maromeno” Paez
It was Trinidad’s father who first put him in the gym and turned on the TV to watch boxing with his son.
“The first fighter he ever put on TV that I ever noticed was Maromeno Paez,” said Trinidad, referring to Mexican WBO and IBF featherweight champion Jorge “El Maromeno” Paez of Mexicali, Mexico (79-14-5, 52 KOs). His nickname, “El Maromero,” comes from Paez’s background as a circus performer with his family, from the Spanish word “maroma,” meaning somersault.
“The Showman of Showmen,” says Trinidad. “I took a lot from him, the mentality from him, being relaxed in the gym and being relaxed in the gym.” Trinidad also named Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, and Finito Lopez as influences, along with Mike Tyson’s mentality of never taking your eyes off your opponent. “I admire all of them. Growing up and watching them, I took a lot from their boxing.”
Trinidad vs Perez: ‘Going To Be A Great Fight’
Trinidad recently made his first appearance in New York at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. He only got to enjoy it for a round, knocking out Andrew Bentley on November 9 on the Callum Walsh vs. Israel Villareal undercard.
Perez is coming off a narrow split decision loss in October to 2020 U.S. Olympian Duke Ragan in an eight-round bout in which Perez scored a fifth-round knockdown against Ragan. Perez will have something to prove and says he’s looking forward to the fight.
“I’ve known him for a while and will prove that I am the better man on January 27,” said Perez. I’m looking forward to showing my skills on UFC Fight Pass, I’m definitely going to put on a show for the fans.”
Trinidad says he crossed paths earlier in his career, taking notice of another “up and comer.” “Now life is full circle. We’re facing off as WBC contenders. I know he’s tough. He has a lot of heart. I expect him to be 100% ready. I know it’s going to be a great fight.”
Quality Work, Quality Results
Trinidad credits the high-level sparring in Southern California for helping him develop his skills.
“There’s always work. There's always people in your weight class, people ready to work, people ready to learn. Even though you're learning, it's very tough. You gotta get ready for the haymakers, the toe-to-toe fights, and those doghouse fights. All in all, it's a great experience, and you'll gain IQ and experience.”
Trinidad intends to stay busy in 2024. “I expect activity. Staying active is essential for me. It keeps me in my rhythm.”
Trinidad wants the opportunity to fight one of the featherweight title holders but with his sights set on WBC World Featherweight champion Rey Vargas along with Leigh Wood of England (WBA), Luis Alberto Lopez of Mexico (IBF), and Rafael Espinoza (WBO).
“By the end of the year, an eliminator and a big name that will get me noticed,” insists Trinidad.
Along with a win, a delayed birthday celebration is in Trinidad's immediate future. “Going out and eat, and maybe do a little dancing here and there and just having a great time.” Forget the taco plate. Trinidad said he’s craving crab. Assuming he eats up the opposition, provecho!