If UFC lightweight Francisco Trinaldo has his way, a bunch of poor children somewhere in Brasilia will have a pretty big party today. After winning by first-round TKO Sunday night in Saskatoon, Trinaldo was overcome with happiness.
He had a lot to be emotional about. He was just a few hours from turning 37, and found himself a world away from his reportedly destitute upbringing in Brazil.
Trinaldo had just won his fourth straight UFC fight after stopping a much younger "Ultimate Fighter" champion and rising star in Chad Laprise. Trinaldo has long flown under the radar of most fight fans but finally made himself known with his nasty stoppage win.
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Overall, he is now 8-3 in the UFC, and is knocking on the door of the lightweight top 15. Trinaldo got into pro MMA relatively late -- in his late 20's -- but he always knew he could beat the odds and become successful.
"I always knew I would become a good fighter," he said after his win while shedding tears of joy.
"I'm working to become a perfect fighter."
No one can ever become quite perfect, but Trinaldo has come a long way. And, his first thought was to share the wealth, so to speak.
Like many fighters before him, Trinaldo shouted out his mother after his win. His mother's mention came with a twist, however.
"I ask my mother to throw a party for all the kids in Brazil," he said.
"Because, I never got to have a birthday party. Today, I can afford it...The kids can have anything they want."
It's been awhile since we ourselves experienced a birthday bash as children, but that sounds like a pretty good party to us. Here's hoping some kids in Francisco Trinaldo's hometown have or are soon enjoying a celebration that brings some extra joy into their lives, but also reminds them to keep dreaming and striving, just like the birthday boy himself.