Claude Patrick (14-1) boasts nine career submission victories in the form of six guillotines, two north-south chokes and one mata leao. His three strike-stoppages leave just two wins by decision for "The Prince." Living up to his reputation in his Octagon debut at UFC 115, Patrick tapped Ricardo Funch with his catch of choice in the second round. Continuing to develop momentum, the BJJ brown belt toppled TUF winner James Wilks and Cesar Gracie product Daniel Roberts in consecutive decisions.
In his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario, Patrick has passed time by getting tazed in an unexpected hotel room encounter with ten unscrupulous cads and waking up in the hospital a few days later ... just like we've all done for adventurous filler on a rainy day.
Brian Ebersole (48-14-1) is a grisly veteran and adept wrestler with a flair for aesthetically pleasing tomfoolery. He's the type of lovably deranged fighter to notch a whopping thirty-six fights in one year -- which equates to an unheard of pace of three times per month -- and spice up the career-changing opportunity of his UFC debut with cartwheel kicks en route to an upset of the venerable Chris Lytle.
"The White Anderson Silva" took a more direct approach in his follow up performance against fellow catch wrestler Dennis Hallman, where even Ebersole's vast experience in MMA couldn't prepare him for the horrors that awaited. He almost immediately found himself in a disconcerting scenario where the scantily clad Hallman, ill-contained nether regions and all, took him to the ground and rapidly transitioned to his back.
The position, by all accounts, was abnormally ghastly and one that any human should aspire to avoid at all costs. With unwavering determination, Ebersole withstood the frightening onslaught, reversed Hallman and elicited the first round stoppage with a vicious volley of elbows.
Gifs and analysis in the full entry.
Not unlike his arrow-shaped patch of chest hair to familiarize his opponents with the location of his chin, Ebersole's cartwheel kick seemed like a flimsy gimmick until video of him getting a knockout with the technique surfaced.
The realistic threat it exemplifies is that he's effectively innovative and a puzzle to prepare for. Complementing the southpaw's unorthodox showmanship is a legit grasp of boxing and range, an exhausting blender of a clinch game and extremely capable takedown and catch wrestling skills.
As you'd expect from such an experienced gamer, Ebersole is unnervingly composed both offensively and defensively. He's also an extremely diverse threat in every aspect -- striking, clinching, scrambling and grappling -- with a solid chin, a great strength-to-agility ratio and daunting aggression.
The fighters who've bested him are of a respectable caliber. Since losing to Alex Schoenauer in a 2007 IFL event, Ebersole's only loss in his last fourteen is Bellator mauler Hector Lombard.
Though slightly overshadowed by the talent-laden lineup of the UFC 129 card, Claude Patrick scored a strong decision over Daniel Roberts.
The win was the third straight in Patrick's unblemished Octagon stint and his thirteenth consecutive victory. Patrick's only stain on the carpet is a 2002 decision loss to the heavy handed Drew McFedries. His stand up is quite adequate, especially in the clinch, and his takedowns have been effective enough to pave the way for his myriad submission wins.
Ebersole's thorough but checkered record makes him a tough fighter to assess, but I see him being too durable and feisty for Patrick to implement his strengths. The guillotine, Patrick's most successful method of winning, and the north-south choke are all achieved from fairly dominant positions on the mat or when tied up.
For as flaky and unpredictable as he is, one thing Brian Ebersole undoubtedly excels in is dictating the pace and position of the fight. He's tangled with heavyweights, he's deceivingly strong, highly athletic and has a knack for imposing his will. Unless he takes a careless risk -- which should not be out of the question -- I think he should be able to land the better shots on the feet and shut down a good portion of Patrick's offense.
My Prediction: Brian Ebersole by decision
All gifs via Zombie Prophet of IronForgesIron.com