Mississauga, Ontario native Claude “The Prince” Patrick is set to compete in front of 55,000 people at UFC 129 in Toronto this weekend as he takes on Daniel Roberts. Despite such a high-profile fight, Patrick has remained calm, professional and says the giant crowd and boisterous atmosphere won’t intimidate him or alter his game plan.
“I don’t hear the [55,000] people,” Patrick told hornface.com. “I just want to do what it is I do. If you focus on the energy of the crowd -[momentum swings] up and down in a fight, you know- and if you follow that, that’s not always a good thing for me. I just focus on myself. The only other person at that time that matters is my opponent.”
Patrick (13-1) lives and trains in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but fighting in the province of Ontario for the first time hasn’t changed his preparation. “[Fighting in the GTA] doesn’t change anything really, you still are going to have to travel a little bit for your training camp because you need to have [a wide variety of] training partners,” said Patrick. “The UFC [event] is here, but the infrastructure for the training of the athletes is still going to take some time to grow and develop, so I [did] some travelling and [got] my work in.”
Although his opponent, Roberts, is lesser known to most mainstream MMA fans, the Rockford, Illinois native is a threat at welterweight. “I can’t follow the rankings or what people say about my opponent. You have to be ready yourself to go out and do the best that you can do,” said Patrick. “For Roberts himself, he’s obviously a skilled opponent otherwise he wouldn’t be in the UFC. I’ve seen some of the dangers he poses and prepared myself accordingly.”
A win over Roberts (12-1), who is one of Jake Shields’ top training partners, will raise Patrick’s profile but all the extracurricular stuff doesn’t matter to the Canadian. “My ranking, hopefully, is going to be one above Daniel Roberts after this fight,” said Patrick. “Other than that I’m not overly concerned. There’s so many opponents [in the welterweight division] and so much work to do. The guy in front of me is what’s most important.”
Claude is one of the head instructors at one of the premier gyms in the GTA, the Mississauga Elite Training Centre. For more info visit mississaugaelite.com.
Canadian MMA Examiner Mike Johnston will be live, cage side at the Rogers Centre for UFC 129 on April 30. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeyJ_MMA and subscribe to his page for info and updates concerning this historic event.