Canadian UFC fighters ready for home-turf bouts

By Chris Doucette, QMI Agency

TORONTO — At first glance, UFC fighters appear to be average, ordinary folks.

Most also seem to be genuinely good guys, who are accessible to their fans, which is a big part of why mixed martial arts has become so wildly popular.

It’s not until you see them at work in the octagon that you realize each and every one of them is capable of beating you senseless and making you say “uncle” in a heartbeat. “It’s definitely my life right now,” says Claude Patrick of Mississauga, Ont., wiping his forehead.

“It’s my focus and my career, so I’m putting a lot into it and starting to see the results pay off.”

With beads of sweat pouring down his face after a gruelling two-hour workout with one of his trainers, K1 kick-boxing champ Michael McDonald, Patrick recently took time out to talk to QMI Agency at Elite Training Centre in the Toronto‘s west end.

He’s one of three local fighters slated to fight in UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre Apr. 30.

All told, nine Canadians are expected to be in the 11 fights that night — more than any other card in UFC history.

That includes the two main events, which will see fan favourite Georges St. Pierre, of Montreal, put his welterweight title on the line against American Jake Shields and Mark Hominick, from Thamesford, Ont., try to snatch the featherweight title from Brazilian Jose Aldo.

“I feel very fortunate,” Patrick said, adding with a smile that many “long lost friends” are suddenly calling looking for tickets.

 

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