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Alan Patrick on how moving full-time to Orlando helped land UFC 229 fight

Alan Patrick faces Scott Holtzman at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Alan Patrick was a homeless kid who used to shine shoes in the streets of Brasilia to make a living. Decades later, he’s able to provide a completely different reality to his young son.

The 15-1 Brazilian lightweight talent, who holds a 5-1 record under the UFC banner, has decided to move full-time to Orlando with his wife and four-year-old son ahead of Saturday night’s UFC 229, when he faces Scott Holtzman at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Living in the United States and training alongside his long-time friend Ronaldo Souza at Fusion X-cell for four months now, “Nuguette” feels ready to perform at his best in the Octagon. Yet, being in Orlando has changed more than his fighting skills.

”Life’s great here, we have better access to things like wrestling shoes, gloves, and supplements than we do in Brazil,” Patrick told MMA Fighting. “Our work is 10 times more valued here. I enjoy the lifestyle here, it’s not too rushed like in Brazil. I love it. After four months here, I’ve adapted.”

Patrick has no plans to move back to Brazil anytime soon, and is thrilled to see his son make new friends in Orlando.

”It was more difficult for my wife and little son, but they are used to it already,” Patrick said. “When (my son) is too anxious we take him to Universal, the world’s greatest park [laughs]. I live 15 minutes away from the park and to see the look on his face, that’s priceless. And I also get to see a lot of Brazilians there [laughs].”

Patrick feels “a complete different ‘Nuguette’” after four months of training at Fusion X-cell, and sees many other benefits in living in the United States. For an example, he doesn’t feel he would have gotten a chance to compete at one of the biggest pay-per-view cards in UFC history if he was still living in Rio de Janeiro.

”That’s what I came here for: to speak their language, be closer to the UFC and give my son a better life, more comfort,” Patrick said. “Being here, it’s cheaper for the UFC to give me fights. Flight tickets in Brazil are so expensive, it’s unbelievable.”

”It would be really hard for me to get a fight in this card if I were in Brazil, but it was easier being here,” he continued. “And Wallid (Ismail, manager) did a great job landing me on this card. If it wasn’t for him also, I wouldn’t be on this card. It’s the fight of the century, the biggest fight in UFC history, and I’m happy to be part of this card. I’ll give my life in there to go 6-1 in the UFC.”

Holtzman brings a 4-2 UFC record to the cage against the Brazilian, looking for his third straight victory after decisions over Darrell Horcher and Michael McBride, but “Nuguette” promises a devastating win, his first knockout since his Octagon debut, to impress the fans who tune in early in expectation for the main event bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.

”That’s the plan, go in there and shock everyone,” Patrick said. “This guy is expecting the same old ‘Nuguette’, but it’s going to be a whole new one. He comes in strong in the first round, trying to pressure his opponent against the cage and get the takedown, but I worked hard to block his takedowns. If he doesn’t go down in the first round, he goes down in the second.”

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