Alan Patrick impressed in his UFC debut, and he has a tough challenge in his next fight inside the Octagon.
Undefeated in MMA with 11 wins, Patrick needed less than four minutes to stop Garett Whiteley with punches in his first UFC appearance last October in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and he has quickly moved up the ladder to take on UFC veteran John Makdessi at UFC 169 on Feb. 1.
Only two of "Nuguette’s" professional MMA victories have come via submission, but that’s exactly what he’s planning to do against Makdessi, who has eight knockout victories in his MMA record.
"My training camp was great. I worked a lot on my hands and jiu-jitsu," Patrick told MMAFighting.com. "I will put him on his back and we’ll see if he can fight from there. He has fast kicks, good spinning punches, but he won’t be able to do this with his back on the ground. It’s going to be the classic striker vs. grappler match-up."
To work on his jiu-jitsu skills, the X-Gym product has trained with legendary black-and-red belt Sylvio Behring and learned a few tricks with multiple world champion Ronaldo Souza.
"Sylvio Behring has always been part of my training camps, and I also trained with (Brazilian wrestler) Adrian Jaoude," he said. "’Jacare’ is always here helping us with some technical details. The best of the world train with me. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’, Erick Silva, Paulo Thiago, Diego Nunes, Rodrigo Damm. I’m used to spar with UFC’s best every day."
The former Bitetti Combat lightweight champion has never fought outside of Brazil, but is confident he will leave a lasting impression in Newark.
"I’m ready. I was born ready," he said. "I’ve been through a lot of obstacles in my life, and this is just another one. I thank the UFC for giving me this opportunity. It shows that they believe in me. I’m going to be there and show my best, show that I’m ready. If I beat him, I’ll move up (in the rankings).
"I’ve fought in the U.S. before in jiu-jitsu tournaments, but it’s my first time in MMA. We get more experience with every fight, but we already have that feeling, that excitement. I’m fighting in a different country, a different environment. Everything changes. Brazil is my home, I was used to that, and now I’m facing a new challenge. But everything was done and I will be ready to go there and fight to win."
The anxiety of fighting outside of his home country is big, but maybe not bigger than the anxiety of meeting UFC president Dana White.
"I’m anxious to meet Dana White for the first time at the weigh-ins," he said. "That face-off in front of the man is different. Everybody says that he’s a good man, reasonable, that always tries to help the fighters. I believe he’s a good man."