UFC 169 Results: Is Abel Trujillo a Dark Horse at Lightweight?

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2014

Jamie Varner, right, and Abel Trujillo fight during the first round of a UFC 169 lightweight mixed martial arts bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Trujillo won by knockout in the second round. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)
Tim Larsen/Associated Press

It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was downright brutal. Either way, Abel Trujillo walked out a winner at UFC 169.

After a dismal showing on the prelims from most of the fighters on the undercard, Trujillo and Jamie Varner put on a show in the squared circle (or Octagon). It was exciting, especially the finish.

After getting tagged multiple times, Trujillo threw one huge right hook that sent Varner into a slumber that had him out cold for a seemingly long period of time. It was beautiful and violent.

That win was huge for Trujillo. He went from midcarder to possible star with his impressive finish of former WEC champ Varner.

Now, the Blackzilian rep is a dark horse at 155 pounds. Following brutal finishes of Marcus LeVesseur, Roger Bowling and Varner, fans are starting to notice the talent Trujillo has.

He showed a great beard and awesome heart when fighting Varner. He could have easily been tapped out by the north-south choke and put away by the power punching of Varner, but he soldiered through the punishment and kept his head together.

Then, he scrambled Varner's brains and earned respect for his gritty performance opposite Varner.

Trujillo has what it takes to be a dark horse at 155.

He is well-rounded. Not only can he throw heat, but he has good wrestling that not only forces takedowns, but staves off incoming takedowns from his opponents.

He also showed he can take a good amount of punishment in a fight and keep pressing forward. That is a great asset to have. Even though you are down on the scorecard and losing a fight, a concrete chin, in unison with his sickening power, always gives him a punchers chance of ending a fight.

He has a great camp in his corner in the Blackzilians. He is getting great reps in the gym, whether he is working with Tyrone Spong, Rashad Evans or Michael Johnson. He will always have a good training camp.

There is a long line at the top in the lightweight division, and Trujillo has firmly announced his arrival toward the front end of it. Not only is he exciting and devastating, but he is winning fights, which, no matter how it happens, will aid your chances at a title shot. 

With this win, Trujillo has earned himself a top-notch opponent. He has put the division on notice and could be put in a high-profile situation in the future.

Keep an eye on "The Killa."