Rico “The Triggerman” Farrington a promising welterweight prospect
or 24-year-old Rico “The Triggerman” Farrington (who will be competing this Saturday at CFA 12: Sampo vs. Thao), his introduction to mixed martial arts was the result of a noncombat related injury. When the lifelong athlete hurt his shoulder during a baseball game and was sidelined from the sport for a year, he decided he wanted to remain active. He agreed to go with his cousin to Club KO, an MMA gym in Pembroke Pines, where he was introduced first-hand to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“I saw these people doing this grappling stuff and I was intrigued,” says the 24 year old Miramar resident who moved to Florida from Nassau, Bahamas when he was 15. “I signed up and that first day I got tapped out I don’t know how many times. From there I just continued, going and going, and I got good as the days progressed.”
He trained constantly, soaking in the knowledge of his coaches. To compliment his BJJ training (he currently holds a blue belt) he took up kickboxing, a discipline that suited his 6’3”, 170-pound frame. When he felt he wasn’t improving anymore at Club KO, he moved over to MMA Masters – located at 1625 N. Miami Avenue – to train under the world-class tutelage of grappling master Daniel Valverde and striking legend Cesar Carneiro.
“I think – for me personally – I found the best gym in Florida, because every day I go there I’m learning something new, either in jiu-jitsu, either in judo, either in stand up, every day is something new,” he says. “I love it. It’s like a family. Everyone comes with something, because everyone has a different style, so it’s easier to incorporate something new into your style.”
Over the course of his training, “The Triggerman” ran up a 10-1-1 amateur MMA record, with three TKOs and one submission en route to winning the ISKA championship belt. He also won three amateur kickboxing title belts in the 170 and 175 pound weight classes. Watching those kickboxing matches (there are many up on YouTube), it’s evident Farrington takes advantage of his long frame, using distance well, however he is not shy about mixing it up on the inside, much like his favorite fighters, the Diaz brothers. Unsurprisingly, he is rather fond of the body punch.
“I watched them [the Diaz brothers] all the time and their style – I like how they incorporate the body strikes to bring them down, get them weak, and then movie it back up,” he says. “My body shot, that’s my go-to thing. I love body shots. People think because I’m so tall that I’ll just go for the head – and that’s what I’m working towards – but mainly, I think it’s the body. I like to break the body down so I can go upstairs.”
He made his pro debut at CFA 11: Kyle vs. Wiuff, where he defeated American Top Team product Jake Gombocz (2-2) via decision. It was the first time his opponent had gone the distance, snapping a two-fight win streak. This Saturday he’ll be facing Diego Peclat, who will be looking to put together his first win streak after submitting his last opponent earlier this year. Though his opponent, on paper, does not appear to be very formidable (his professional record sits at an unimpressive 2-5), Farrington is wisely being pragmatic about his upcoming bout.
“I really don’t look at his record,” he says. “He still has an advantage because he’s seasoned; he already had seven fights. It doesn’t matter if they were all losses, he’s already adjusted to the pro status, with the knees and the elbows and all that stuff. His experience is greater than mine even though I had a well-developed amateur background. He’s converted to the pro status, with six more fights than I have had. So I think it’ll be a bigger stepping stone if I do win this fight, regardless of his record.”
One advantage he’ll surely have going into his preliminary fight this weekend is that he will be competing in front of his home crowd, and he is happy to have their support.
“It’s always good, getting that extra motivation to please your fans, family and friends,” he says. “He’s coming into my turf, so, for me, I feel like I have an edge. I heard he’s a real good stand up fighter – which was what I wanted – so I think I’ll give the crowd what they want, which is a stand up fight, and hopefully I come with a knockout.”