We are not sure whether Paul Felder is a super open-minded guy or was just trying to be diplomatic when he was asked during a recent interview about a rather bizarre training technique being employed by his upcoming opponent Francisco Trinaldo.
In preparation for the bout at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 95 show in Brasilia, Trinaldo has been sparring blindfolded. That’s right, blindfolded.
This fact was revealed last month, when the fighter’s coach Andre Dida shared a video of one of the sessions on his Facebook page.
When reached out to for comment on this utter lunacy by MMAFighting, Dida claimed that there was indeed method to the madness.
“Our goal with this specific training I invented is to help the athlete listen to the corner,” he said. “There are several ways to work this connection between coach and fighter. The fighter needs to trust his corner. I put ‘Massaranduba’ there to work and follow his corners, and believe that the cornerman can help him win the fight. It’s a different way to train, out of your comfort zone. We can’t do this all the time, but you have to be creative and learn new things.”
We are not convinced.
Though he did have a little giggle when the topic was first mentioned by journalist Guilherme Cruz, Felder was reluctant to completely dismiss the possibility that there may be something to the technique however.
“You know, every coach and every trainer has got different little tricks that they do, so maybe that’s the next big thing coming out,” he said. “Who knows? And him and his coach could be the first guys to start it.”
That doesn’t mean ‘The Irish Dragon’ is about to introduce it into his own preparatory schedule anytime soon though.
“The reason I shy away from anything like that is; that’s just concussion city,” said Felder. “If I don’t see you and your punching me in the face, my jaw is going to get rocked.”
“Hey man, it was cool. I watched the video myself. I stumbled upon it on Instagram and I was like ‘That’s Trinaldo…blindfolded?’ So, it was a good watch.”
Yeah, it’s got to be nice to see the man you are preparing to fight relinquishing brain cells with such abandon.
Both fighter’s come into this bout in fine form. Hometown boy Trinaldo is riding a six-fight winning-streak, that includes wins over Norman Parke, Ross Pearson and, most recently, Yancy Medeiros. Felder’s run of victories is a little more modest. He has scored two on the bounce, submitting Daron Cruickshank and besting Josh Burkman over three rounds, since a split decision loss to the aforementioned Pearson last September.