UFC 129: Under the Radar

daniel roberts mma

Daniel "Ninja" Roberts

One fight you should really be paying attention to at UFC 129

The UFC is using this weekend’s event in Toronto as a launching pad for number of new developments; a new market, new start times, and a new type of venue.

In the same vein, we’re using UFC 129 as a chance to introduce some new Fight Week features to the program here at HeavyMMA as well. In addition to giving you five good reasons to purchase the pay-per-view, we’re going to start shining the spotlight on one fight that might be flying under the radar.

Every event has a collection of bouts that garner the most attention; the main event, a showdown between arch rivals or contest that determines the next top contender in a certain division usual draw the focus of the fans and media.

Even though televised prelims and fights streamed on Facebook bring some eyes to the undercard, there is always that one fight that no one seems to be talking about that could end up stealing the show. Starting now, we’ll give you our breakdown of that bout.

Welcome to UFC 129: Under the Radar.

Claude Patrick vs. Daniel “Ninja” Roberts

Claude Patrick (13-1, 2-0 UFC)
UFC 120 Win James Wilks (Unanimous Decision)
UFC 115 Win Ricardo Funch (Submission – Guillotine Choke – Round 2)
AMMA 2 Win Matt MacGrath (Submission – Guillotine Choke – Round 3)

Daniel Roberts (12-1, 3-1 UFC)
UFC 125 Win Greg Soto (Submission – Kimura – Round 1)
UFC 121 Win Mike Guymon (Submission – Anaconda Choke – Round 1)
UFC 116 Win Forrest Petz (Split Decision)

Why We Love this Fight

Why aren’t more people totally amped for this fight, that’s the real question?

Patrick and Roberts are two emerging welterweights with a combined 25-2 record and five wins in six trips inside the Octagon. The lone loss between them came in Roberts’ debut against John Howard on the first Versus show last March.

Not to make excuses for “Ninja,” but he took the fight with Howard on five weeks notice and went from facing unknown regional opponents and an over-the-hill Anthony Macias to standing in with one of the most explosive strikers in the division in his big league debut. Rattling off three-straight wins since earns Roberts some slack as far as we’re concerned.

Across the cage, Patrick is riding a 12-fight winning streak, with his lone loss coming against former UFC middleweight staple Drew McFedries almost nine years ago. Since that time, he’s beaten some of the best welterweight competition Canada has to offer on the regional circuit, and scored a first round win over Ray Steinbeiss in his only IFL appearance in September 2006.

Besides their strong resumes and track records since entering the UFC, the stylistic element of this fight makes it even more compelling.

Both Roberts and Patrick are talented jiu jitsu players; Patrick is a brown belt who has studied under the likes of Steve da Silva and Wagnney Fabiano, while Roberts is a purple belt who currently works with Cesar Gracie and the Skrap Pack in California. With three of their five combined victories coming by way of submission, you can expect this one to be a battle for position that features numerous submission attempts, counters and escapes.

While that may not be everybody’s cup of tea, we’re pretty big fans of high-level grappling, and this fight will give us our fill.

Additionally, Patrick and Roberts have both shown an aggressive approach to their fights since debuting in the UFC. The come out fast, bringing the action to their opponent and looking to finish quickly. We expect the two straight forward fighters to meet in the center of the Octagon and go hard for as long as it takes.

On a star-studded card with a number of intriguing pairings, Patrick and Roberts are flying under the radar, but by the time Saturday night has turned into Sunday morning, don’t be surprised if people are talking about the first welterweight contest of the evening too.

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