“UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin” takes place this Saturday, June 12, at the GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Making his second Octagon appearance and fighting on the card will be Brazilian born Team Link fighter Ricardo “Golden Boy” Funch (7-1),
Funch will be facing Canadian Claude Patrick (11-1) on his home turf.
ProMMAnow.com spoke to Funch this week about his opponent and how the two match-up. Even though they are both brown belts in jiu-jitsu, Funch told us why he feels he has the advantage on the ground, and he also shared some unique advice he would give Patrick if he were his coach.
We also discussed Funch’s background with Team Link and what it is like training with the highly respected longtime UFC heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga.
ProMMAnow.com: Hi Ricardo, thank you for joining us today. How is your weight now just a couple days away from weigh-ins?
Ricardo Funch: My weight is fine only four pounds over.
ProMMAnow.com: This weekend you will be fighting Claude Patrick at UFC 115. He’s a veteran of the sport. He’s fought in the IFL and King of the Cage, has some good wins and is on a ten fight win streak. From what you know about Claude Patrick, what is your opinion of him and how do you see the two of you matching up?
Ricardo Funch: He definitely has a vast experience, good well-rounded fighter. I see as matching fine because he likes to strike and the ground game as do I, I have a height advantage so I see my reach being a factor in this match to my favor.
ProMMAnow.com: Claude Patrick is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu and you are a brown belt. Who do you think has the better submission game and why?
Ricardo Funch: His ground game is definitely good since most of his wins are by submission, but my ground is also sharp since I train with black belts like Marco Alvan, Gonzaga and Alexandre Moreno, I believe my ground has a edge on his.
ProMMAnow.com: Even though you are good on the ground, most of your wins have come from knockouts. Which feels better; to win by submission or win by knockout, and why?
Ricardo Funch: It feels the same. I train to be proficient where the fight goes, a win is a win and it feels just as good.
ProMMAnow.com: You were born in Brazil, right? What was your life like in Brazil, what did you do there, and when did you come to America?
Ricardo Funch: I was born there but didn’t do any training there, actually I never even heard of jiu-jitsu until I got to live here in America. I came to America in 2000 on a soccer scholarship. After my senior year at the end of 2005 I started training with Marco (Alvan) and never looked back.
ProMMAnow.com: You train with Gabriel Gonzaga and Team Link. How long have you been with Team Link, and tell us what it is like to train with Gonzaga. What kind of person is he to be around and work with?
Ricardo Funch: I have been training at Team Link a little more than four years. Training with Gonzaga is awesome, he’s really technical for a big guy, but very strong, so it’s very fun to roll with him. He’s very nice person and really laid back.
ProMMAnow.com: Have you heard when Gonzaga’s next fight may be or who he is fighting next?
Ricardo Funch: No I haven’t.
ProMMAnow.com: I had read a statement from you about your first fight in the UFC against Johny Hendricks. You said you really had an issue with the “first time jitters.” What did you learn from that experience, and how do you think you will deal with the nerves this time, because you will be in Canada in front of Claude Patrick’s home crowd?
Ricardo Funch: Of course the second time around things will be different, it will be easier. I can’t wait actually ‘m really excited for this fight.
ProMMAnow.com: If you were Claude Patrick’s coach, what advice would you give him just before he walked into the Octagon to face Ricardo Funch?
Ricardo Funch: Hands down chin up! (laughs)
ProMMAnow.com: Wow, that’s terrible advice for him! (laughs) Ricardo, thank you my friend. I wish you the best of luck this weekend. Stay safe in there. Are there any sponsors you would like to thank, or would you like to send any shout-outs?
Ricardo Funch: Thanks to TCB Fight Wear for sponsoring me for this, and my previous sponsors Malevylence and Need2Bleed. Also Thanks my trainers Marco Alvan, Brent Whitley and all of my training partners.