“The Texicutioner” is coming home! After a big win at UFC 217 over Joe Duffy to extend his streak to three, James Vick wanted a top ten fight and made that very clear. He actually had been wanting one before that…but no one would accept the challenge and still hasn’t. As Vick mentioned recently on an episode of BJ Penn Radio:
“I talked to [UFC matchmaker Shelby], it was probably last week,” Vick said “They’re going to ask Kevin Lee to fight me, which they don’t think is going to happen. Then he said they’re going to ask [Michael] Chiesa to fight me. I think they really want to make that fight with Chiesa because it makes sense for the UFC and for us. They don’t want to fight me,” he said. “I’ve been calling the dude out. I’ve been talking shit to him on Twitter. He don’t want to fight me.”
“Then they’re talking about [Francisco] Trinaldo or Paul Felder. I don’t think Paul Felder’s manager is going to let him fight me,” he said. “I assume I’m probably going to end up fighting Trinaldo, which isn’t a step down for me. I’ll fight him. Hopefully, Trinaldo will take the fight. He’s actually ranked one above me. It’s not a step down. Trinaldo beat Yancy Medeiros. People don’t remember. Trinaldo beat him pretty easily. Why the hell aren’t we getting the main event spot [in Austin]?”
Well, it turns out that Vick was right after all! Vick finds himself ranked at #15 currently in the UFC’s official rankings and the UFC announced today that Vick’s next fight will take place at UFC Austin against the #14 ranked, Francisco Trinaldo on February 18.
Trinaldo will be coming into the fight fresh off a win over Jim Miller back in October. This was Trinaldo’s first win after losing to the future interim Lightweight title challenger, Kevin Lee. That loss snapped a seven-fight win streak for Trinaldo and a win was surely going to give him a big boost up in the ranks. But now he’s working his way back up and will have to go through Vick to get another streak going.
James Vick is 12-1 with his only loss coming to fellow ranked 155er, Beneil Dariush. The Mineral Wells, Texas-born, Vick has shown massive improvements in each fight. Specifically, each of his last three which he has finished all of against Abel Trujillo, Marco Polo Reyes, and Joe Duffy.
The rest of UFC Austin is looking like this so far:
Welterweight – 170 lbs: Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
Lightweight – 155 lbs: Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti
Heavyweight – 207-265 lbs: Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
Flyweight – 125 lbs: Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno
Bantamweight – 135 lbs: Tonya Evinger vs. Marion Reneau
Bantamweight – Lucie Pudilova vs. Sarah Moras
Welterweight – Brian Camozzi vs. Geoffrey Neal
Strawweight – 115 lbs: Jessica Aguilar vs Livia Renata Souza
Flyweight – Joby Sanchez vs. Roberto Sanchez
Lightweight – Diego Ferreira vs Jared Gordon
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/4/2018.