Photo by Lee Whitehead MMA Weekly
Claude Patrick utterly dominated James Wilks on the ground to cruise to an easy unanimous decision win at UFC 120.
They came out trading early with an exchange of leg kicks. Wilks began to use his reach to land front kicks and fire jabs. Patrick initiated a clinch and forced the fight to the fence about a minute in, taking Wilks to the ground in short order. From there Wilks threatened a couple of submissions off his back but he couldn't stop Patrick from passing his guard and getting full mount with two minutes left in the round. An eternity for the man on his back. Wilks forced Patrick to move back to side control and then regained guard. But Patrick stood up and dropped bombs on his prone opponent. The round ended with Patrick landing hard punches and elbow en route to regaining the mounted position to seal the deal and take the round.
More of the same in the second with some initial trading of strikes followed by Patrick forcing a clinch. This time Wilks was able to turn Patrick around and force his back into the cage. But Patrick still managed to get the take down at the three minute mark. Again Wilks attacked from his back with submission attempts but Patrick easily evaded his attempts. Patrick stood a few times to land leg kicks but dove back in to attack with punches, hammer fists and elbows. Wilks rolled to his belly briefly but returned to his back before Patrick could get rear mount. As the round ran down, Patrick worked to pass guard but the two men ended up stale-mated in Wilks' half-guard as Patrick put a second round in the bank.
Wilks came out in the third and chose to initiate a clinch but again Patrick got control and put Wilks on his back. Poor tactics for Wilks. Wilks worked for sweepts from butterfly guard but Patrick's base proved immovable. When Patrick stood, Wilks attacked for a leg submission, but Patrick easily spun away. Patrick attained side control at the two minute mark and threatened a north-south choke but Wilks broke up the attempt. Wilks regained guard after 30 seconds and worked for a sweep, again nothing doing for the Brit. Wilks worked for an omaplata but Patrick slipped away and continued to barrage from the top. After three rounds it seemed only remarkably bad judging could save James Wilks.
It was not to be as Claude Patrick took a unanimous decision with all three judges' cards reading 30-27.
The Ultimate Fighter season nine winner Wilks came into the fight looking for his second UFC win of the year after taking a decision over Peter Sobotta at UFC 115. Wilks lost to Matt Brown at UFC 105.
The Canadian submission specialist Patrick brought a ten fight winning streak into the bout with his last loss happening over eight years ago. Patrick beat Ricardo Funch in his debut at UFC 115.