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UFC 140 fight card: Brian Ebersole vs Claude Patrick preview

Two battle-tested welterweights with spotless UFC records will meet this Saturday night (December 10, 2011) on the UFC 140 main card when veteran Brian Ebersole takes on a very hungry Claude Patrick.

Ebersole competed in over 60 fights before finally earning an invite to the UFC and he's made the most of it thus far, smashing both Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman and taking home a fight night bonus in each effort. He believes he can make an impact in the division and he'll be looking to turn some heads if he can put away a tough rising prospect in Patrick.

Claude Patrick has quietly gone 3-0 in the UFC and it's finally his time to make a main card appearance. He's got the talent to hang with the top welterweights after earning decision victories Daniel Roberts and Ultimate Fighter season nine winner James Wilks in his last two fights and now it's time to showcase it to the world.

Will Ebersole cap off his incredible 2011 run with another terrific main card showing? Can Patrick take it to the next level with his first fight in the spotlight? What does each man have to do to earn a victory on Saturday night?

Let's find out:

Brian Ebersole

Record: 48-14-1 overall, 2-0 in the UFC

Key Wins: Chris Lytle (UFC 127), Dennis Hallman (UFC 133), Carlos Newton (Impact FC 1)

Key Losses: Hector Lombard (CFC 5)

How he got here: Brian Ebersole had an incredibly long road to the UFC. He spent the first 17 fights of his career fighting on his native midwest local circuit before finding a temporary home in Mexico. From 2002-2004, Ebersole would fight a ridiculous 23 times, with 11 of those bouts taking place south of the border. After another year spent on the local circuit fighting for six separate promotions in six fights, the Indiana native would find a surprising new home down under.

"Bad Boy" would fight 13 of his next 15 matches in Australia over the next five years, culminating in a surprise last minute inclusion on the UFC 127 card against veteran Chris Lytle when his original opponent, Carlos Condit, had dropped out of the card.

Ebersole not only stepped up, but he would make a huge impact, smashing Lytle over the course of three rounds and nearly finishing the fight in the second after blasting "Lights Out" with a knee to halt the fellow Indiana native's four fight winning streak in the promotion.

At 30 years old and after over 60 professional fights, Brian Ebersole had finally arrived. He was paired up against fellow veteran Dennis Hallman for UFC 133 and after a wardrobe malfunction, Ebersole finished Hallman with repeated elbows and punches from top position.

He was originally slated to face rising star Rory MacDonald, but he was probably relieved when MacDonald came down with an injury. Instead, Claude Patrick was promoted to the main card to face him.

How he gets it done: Ebersole is a very unorthodox fighter. He's got a solid wrestling background but he loves to strike, throwing everything from spinning elbows to cartwheel kicks. This man is capable of hurting you from any angle with any attack. The unpredictability of his striking and grappling can cause serious problems for his opponents.

With Patrick having a strong Muay Thai background, I expect Ebersole to keep his distance in the stand-up, perhaps looking for that crazy cartwheel kick or something equally unexpected.

He's got a strong background in wrestling and it helped him defeat Dennis Hallman in his last bout so don't be surprised one bit if Ebersole works for a takedown if Patrick attempts to clinch or close the distance. Ebersole has solid top control and his balance is terrific. He can posture up and drop some serious punishment with punches and elbows if he can find the proper position on the ground.

He hasn't showcased it yet in the UFC, but he's also got a strong submission background, with 20 tapout finishes to his name. If Patrick is defending the strikes on the ground well, Ebersole will be more than happy transitioning to his favorite arm triangle choke.

Claude Patrick

Record: 14-1 overall, 3-0 in the UFC

Key Wins: Daniel Roberts (UFC 127), James Wilks (UFC 120), Ricardo Funch (UFC 115)

Key Losses: none

How he got here: Claude Patrick began in martial arts with karate and then quickly progressed to Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He began fighting professionally in 2002, but would take three years off after losing to Drew McFedries in his second professional bout. He would return in 2005 and he hasn't looked back since.

"The Prince" competed in Canada's King of the Cage promotion, the IFL and even became the TFC welterweight champion before drawing the attention of the UFC. He made his debut with the promotion at UFC 115 in his native Canada against Brazilian Ricardo Funch, submitting his opponent in the second round in a fight that was exciting enough to be rebroadcast on the Spike TV portion.

Since then, he'd scored impressive decision victories over James Wilks and most recently Daniel Roberts at UFC 129. He was originally slated to take on Rich Attonito on the undercard but when Rory MacDonald got hurt, he was plucked from that fight and inserted into the UFC 140 main card against veteran Brian Ebersole.

How he gets it done: Patrick is very strong and his biggest strength is his clinch attack where he can punish his opponents with his Muay Thai skills and potentially take his opponents down. Despite not having a background in wrestling, his offensive grappling credentials are solid as well.

If at all possible, Patrick will be looking to pin Ebersole against the fence and go to work in the clinch. He's got some powerful knees attacks to the legs and body and he's more than capable of putting a hurting on his opponent with elbows or short uppercuts with a dirty boxing style attack.

If Ebersole gives him an opening along the fence, don't be surprised if Patrick tries to take him down and potentially work for submissions. He's got a strong background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a majority of his finishes have come by way of submission. His guillotine choke in particular is especially nasty. If the American shoots in and leaves his neck exposed, Patrick will most certainly attack it, even pulling guard if he thinks he can finish it. Ebersole hasn't truly been submitted in nearly seven years, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Fight "X-Factor:" The biggest X-Factor for this fight will likely be experience. Both Ebersole and Patrick are 31 years old, but the Canadian has only competed in 15 professional fights compared to Ebersole's 64. That's over four times as many battles against top competition. With all that experience, Ebersole will be bringing significantly more to the table in terms of what he can do to hurt Patrick. He's got a much bigger arsenal of attack in terms of not only striking but also in jiu-jitsu. Hell, he even finished a fight with an inverted triangle choke in 2010.

If Patrick stumbles at any point in this fight, Ebersole's experience could be the biggest weapon he has to take advantage of the situation.

Bottom Line: This is a terrific match-up between top welterweights who currently sport a spotless UFC record. Someone has to go down. Patrick has some momentum after three impressive showings plus he's got the "something to prove" factor going for him after getting his big shot on the main card. Ebersole is brimming with confidence right now, so he won't be intimidated by Patrick's record or his accomplishments thus far. Both of these fighters are talented strikers and grapplers so this fight should be very exciting no matter where it takes place. I don't think it's possible for Brian Ebersole to have a boring fight.

Who will come out on top at UFC 140? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!

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