Thursday, March 22, 2007


By Mike Russell

Toronto Team Standout to Undergo Surgery April 13

Carlos Newton’s Toronto Dragons suffered a devastating blow this week in their bid for the 2007 International Fight League. First-string welterweight Claude Patrick, arguably the squad’s best fighter, was diagnosed with a surgery-requiring partial ACL and meniscus tear, and will sit out the Canadian team’s April 13 appearance against Don Frye’s Arizona Scorpions at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Patrick’s doctors say the injury should take between four to six months to rehabilitate the injury he sustained while training with the Guelph, Ontario wrestling team in February. The Toronto-based fighter is looking towards making a triumphant return in 2008.

“Right now I’m focusing on getting it [the injured knee] strong pre-surgery and training guys. After the operation, it’s rehab 100 percent so I can get back to work as being recognized as a force at 170,” explains the Canadian fighter. "I’m shooting for the next IFL season starting January 2008 to be back 100 percent. Ideally, I would have liked to do a few MMA or grappling matches to test it out before then, but we will see.”

A consummate competitor, Patrick is disappointed that he won’t be able to help his team in the ring and feels that he would have won all three of his fights this season.

“It’s really killing me because I think I would have won all three of my IFL fights I had scheduled for the year. My toughest one was against jiu-jitsu black belt Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno (9-2) from the New York City Pitbulls,” says Patrick. “I was dying to compete against him as it would have been my first time fighting a guy with better ground-work than me, but I guess it will have to wait.”

Patrick’s Dragon teammates are back in action April 13 when they take on the Tucson Scorpions. The Fight Network will have complete coverage of the event beginning with the official weigh-ins April 12.

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