(Claude Patrick. Image courtesy of UFC.com)
Claude Patrick stepped inside the UFC’s Octagon for the second time this weekend, taking on British ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner James Wilks in his homeland. Wilks now resides in the USA and was heading back to the UK for the contest, but Patrick’s idea was always to spoil the homecoming, and spoil it he did.
The two battled hard for the full fifteen minutes with “The Prince” taking an emphatic 30-27 decision victory across the board. Patrick wasn’t overly happy with the outcome though as, of thirteen professional wins, it is the first time he has failed to finish an opponent.
“It’s good to get the win but unfortunately I didn’t get to show a lot of the skills that I’d trained and prepared for the fight,” he revealed to FIGHT! after the bout.
Last time out Patrick used his fearsome guillotine choke to dispatch Ricardo Funch, but the CSW-trained Wilks’ own grappling prowess prevented any attempts at finishing the fight via submission.
“I think style versus style we match up very similar and that negated a lot of what I was doing and for some reason tonight I wasn’t really able to get off what I wanted to do. I was forced to dig deep but I came away with the win.”
At the elite level in the UFC, the victory is of utmost importance – drop a couple in succession and you can be handed your marching orders. Critics have noted that this can be the reason behind a lot of champions and top contenders ‘playing safe’ to keep their win streaks intact, but that wasn’t a factor for Patrick as he always has the intention of going for the kill, and he intends to showcase that again in the future.
“It doesn’t really come into my mind when I’m fighting,” he mused on the subject of the all-important ‘W’. “It kinda stinks that a win is so important, but it’s still entertainment right? So that’s the biggest thing and that’s why, even though I won, I’m a little disgruntled.
“Every time I’ve fought before, I’ve tried to finish the fight and get people talking about it but this one’s probably going to be swept under the rug unfortunately. I’m gonna change that a lot for my next fight and really go out there and do the business.”
He references the Hardy vs. Condit fight as a good example of two guys going out and giving their all, with one ultimately coming unstuck.
“These guys are warriors. Hardy fought Condit and both guys are great fighters. If you play it safe you can go in there and win on points but both guys exchanged and one guy got caught, so you can’t take away from someone’s abilities based on that and they put on a great fight.”
With an impressive 13-1 resume (and twelve finishes) – the only loss coming at middleweight to Drew Mcfedries – Patrick is starting to really make a dent on the 170lbs picture, and if he can deliver on his promise to return to fight-finishing ways then the UFC will have to take note.
On the agenda could be a hometown bout, but not before he’s had a chance to recover and let his body heal after a tough camp and a hard battle in the cage.
“They’re looking at doing a show in Toronto so I’m going to heal up, I’ve got a few injuries here and there, get that done and come back, train and hopefully fight there.”
With recent legalisation in his native province, Patrick will certainly not want to miss the opportunity to show what skill and drive it takes to compete in the sport of MMA. Fans and fellow welterweights alike will be keeping a keen eye on how he reacts and adapts following the biggest win of his creer.