Claude Patrick Not a “Fan of Reckless Talk,” Plans to “Work Way” Into Media Focus
By Kelsey Mowatt
When news surfaced earlier this month that an injured Rory MacDonald would be unable to fight veteran Brian Ebersole at UFC 140 as scheduled, the promotion turned to another of Canada’s top ranked welterweights in Claude Patrick to take his place. While Patrick hasn’t captured headlines like his fellow countryman thus far in his UFC tenure, the Mississauga fighter has impressed nonetheless, by scoring three consecutive Octagon wins. A win over Ebersole, who is coming off back-to-back victories over Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman, would be yet another significant accomplishment.
“Rankings I don’t know the first thing about and leave to the experts,” said Patrick, while discussing what a win over Ebersole might mean. “I’ve have fought in all types of scenarios before, but a win versus Ebersole should put me on the map a bit more. Not being much a fan of reckless talk and the empty bravado that seems to be so effective at garnering attention, I’ve chosen to work my way into the focus of the MMA media and fans and this fight’s one more step on my way.”
Although Patrick was originally scheduled to fight former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Rich Attonito at the upcoming December 10th card, the welterweight veteran reports that he’s taking the opponent change in stride.
“As funny as this sounds, I had a feeling I wouldn’t end up facing my originally slated opponent for UFC 140,” Patrick told FCF. “Far from the superstitious type, I just had a feeling there would be some change along the way. So while I did train with Rich in mind, if anything, past experience has shown that right up until stepping in the Octagon things do happen. So being able to work in various situations is key.”
In Ebersole (48-14-1), Patrick (14-1) will face one of the UFC’s most experienced fighters, who has only lost once since 2007–versus Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard–and has won nine straight fights.
“After so many weeks of training and prep I’m very happy to finally be getting close to the time to perform, so concern is not really the word I’d use to explain my feelings about facing Ebersole’s skill set,” said Patrick, who has scored wins over Ricardo Funch, James Wilks and most recently Daniel Roberts since arriving in the UFC. “To me, the most notable thing about him is he is the prototype for the wiley veteran, who has seen a bit of everything. He may try to take the fight to the mat, but shy of slip ups and freak occurrences, I don’t really see him being able to dictate where the fight takes place against me.”
To prepare for UFC 140, the 31 year-old Patrick reports that he changed things up for his upcoming bout, and enlisted the services of some renowned help south of the border.
“Training has been solid,; would be lying if I said it was without hick-ups, but a big part of relocating to South Florida to train with Team Jaco and the Blackzilians was to get out of the mix,” Patrick said. “I sometimes find myself caught up in at home, especially with the match taking place in Toronto, things can get hectic.”
As 2011 comes to a close Patrick will have competed twice in Toronto, following his unanimous decision win over Daniel Roberts at UFC 129 in April, which was hosted by the city’s Rogers Centre. When one considers that it wasn’t long ago that Patrick was an active and public voice to have MMA legalized in his Province of Ontario, it’s been a dramatic turn of events for the veteran.
“No fortune teller, but to go from MMA not even being legal in my Province to fighting live in front of 50,000 fans once already, and being scheduled to return for another go round in Toronto is nice,” Patrick acknowledged. “But after this, God willing, I hope to be healthy and able to compete at the UFC Japan event in February.”