UFC 140 Fight Card Primer: Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Welterweight opponents Claude Patrick and Brian Ebersole face off after weighing in during the UFC 140 Official Weigh-in at the Air Canada Centre on December 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

At UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida, Claude Patrick (14-1; 3-0 UFC) steps in as a replacement to face Brian Ebersole (48-14-1, 1 NC; 2-0 UFC). This Welterweight fight is the third bout of the evening. Ebersole is currently ranked as the #21 Welterweight in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings; Patrick is unranked. The PPV card begins Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

This is a replacement for the originally scheduled Ebersole vs. Rory MacDonald fight. That was changed when MacDonald had to drop out due to injury. Patrick, originally set to face Rich Attonito on the undercard, got the call up to fill in for MacDonald. That's a shame, because I don't want to take anything away from Patrick, but Ebersole vs. MacDonald was a great fight between two men who have surged in the division over the past year. Still, there is definite intrigue added to this fight thanks to the recent news that Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is sidelined and an interim champion will be crowned. This is the chance for new Welterweight contenders to make a move - let's see if either man here can take advantage.

How do these two stack up?

Patrick: 31 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Ebersole: 31 years old | 6'0" | 73" reach

What have these two done recently?

Patrick: W - Daniel Roberts (UD) | W - James Wilks (UD) | W - Ricardo Funch (Sub)
Ebersole: W - Dennis Hallman (TKO) | W - Chris Lytle (UD) | W - Hamish Robertson (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Ebersole is a ridiculously well-travelled veteran, with over 60 fights all over the world. He made his UFC debut in his adopted home of Australia earlier this year, and made the most of it, defeating veteran Chris Lytle. After that, he had the absurd Dennis Hallman fight, best known for Hallman's crotch exposing tights. Ebersole is a goofy guy, with some very weird techniques, but he's also an extremely dedicated and talented fighter. This UFC run is the culmination of 11 years of hard work as a professional, and Ebersole seems on a mission to make the most of it.

Claude Patrick is 3-0 in the UFC. The Canadian fighter trains out of Elite Training Center. His only loss comes against UFC veteran Drew McFederies in Patrick's 2nd ever pro fight, and he has been winning ever since. He's done well against increasingly tough UFC competition, but will be making a big step up here. This is a huge opportunity that has fallen in his lap - if he can pull off the upset, it will quickly elevate him in the division.

Why should you care?

I don't tend to love fighters that rely on being goofy above all else, but Ebersole combines that weird streak with a real focus on winning. He's a crafty veteran, and I am interested to see just how far this run will take him. He also always makes his fights fun. If he does lose to Patrick, then we'll be seeing the arrival of a new player in the division, which is always good to see.

More UFC 140 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

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