"Breakthrough" is the name given to UFC 88, and for veteran fighter Michael Patt (12-2), it couldn't be more appropriate.
The veteran fighter recently stepped up as a late replacement for James Lee, who was forced to withdraw from the event due to an arm injury, and will make his long-awaited octagon debut next month at the event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) spoke to Patt as he prepares to fight fellow light heavyweight Tim Boetsch (7-2) at the Sept. 6 event in Atlanta's Philips Arena.
Patt discussed a number of topics, including taking the fight on short notice, his fighting style, training with Team Jorge Gurgel and the choices a fighter faces when the UFC calls with an opportunity.
MMAjunkie.com: You fought just one week ago on Aug. 15. Are there any lingering injuries that you'll take into your fight with Tim Boetsch ?
Michael Patt: No, I didn't take any damage in that fight. I took the fight to get some ring work in. It was a really quick fight. It lasted about two minutes. I thought I'd signed up for three five-minute rounds, but when I got to Texas, I found out they were only three three-minute rounds. I decided I didn't want to let my opponent out of the first round, so it ended quickly.
MMAjunkie.com: When you take a fight on short notice, and you are coming off such a recent fight, is it easier or harder on your body and state of mind?
Michael Patt: After a fight your body goes through what I call a "full-body hangover." It just wants a chance to recoup. My management called me at 2 a.m. and told me that I would be fighting in the UFC. Quite honestly at that point, you have two choices: take the fight, or probably never get called again. Fortunately, the full-body hangover only lasted a few days. I've been back training hard and have a few weeks left. I'll be ready.
MMAjunkie.com: You've been fighting for a while and have a pretty good record. But were you surprised by the call?
Michael Patt: I don't know. I thought I was close a few times and felt like I was knocking on the door. Things in the business have changed so much over the years, and getting noticed is more than just a good record. Being in the right place at the right time and having great management with good relationships with the UFC helps a lot.
MMAjunkie.com: You train out of Ohio with Team Jorge Gurgel, correct?
Michael Patt: Yeah, I've been training with Jorge Gurgel for a long time -- since he was a blue belt, in fact. Back when I started training, if you could find someone who was a blue belt or a purple, you had struck gold. It's a strong team and has been very good for a long time.
MMAjunkie.com: You were only recently notified about the fight, but what do you know about your opponent Tim Boetsch?
Michael Patt: He's a good wrestler, aggressive, OK stand up, not really a [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] guy, and I expect he'll want to keep it standing.
MMAjunkie.com: For people who may be unfamiliar with you and your fighting style, how would you describe yourself.
Michael Patt: Patient. I'm all over the board. I'll stand, work in the clinch, use knees and work on the ground. A lot of people enter a fight saying, "I'm going to keep it standing, or I'll take it to the ground." And when their gameplan doesn't work, they are mentally ruined. I want to hit you in the face and work from there and be comfortable wherever the fight goes.
MMAjunkie.com: You have been a free agent for a while. Do you prefer that as opposed to signing a longer-term deal with a single organization?
Michael Patt: There are plenty of places to fight, and some guys will tell you how they want to fight here or there. But given the chance, they would all fight for the UFC regardless of what they might say. It validates everything you do as a fighter. I would be very happy to call the UFC home.
MMAjunkie.com: Let's talk about the contract that brought you in for the Boetsch fight.
Michael Patt: I believe it is a standard four-fight deal, but like any contract, the company reserves the right to terminate it if I stink the place up.
MMAjunkie.com: Do you have any shout-outs or thank yous for your supporters or sponsors?
Michael Patt: Yes, I have to thank the guys at Denaro Sports Marketing, Wade Hampel at Rumble Sports Management, and Biva Advisor Group. Also I'd like to thank Pete MacCallum at Line Handlers, my strength and conditioning coach Eric Ramsey, and all the guys at Team Jorge Gurgel.
MMAjunkie.com: Do you have a website where fans and supporters can contact you?
Michael Patt: Yes, they can visit www.mikepatt.com.