In what could end up being his busiest year in a long time, Patino kicked off 2013 by successfully defending his title against Derrick Krantz at the March 1 Legacy show in Houston.
“I want to show everybody that I’m in shape and I can beat younger guys and show great technique,” said Patino. “I know he trained hard to beat me and had chances (to do so), but he didn’t get it, and when I had my chance, I got him and made him tap.”
As Patino explained to MMAWeekly.com, awkward positioning almost cost him the fight, but he persevered and showed what a veteran champion does when forced into a corner.
“I have a black belt in Judo and I have very good throws and takedowns, and he defended my takedowns and he put me down, and he got my back, which has never happened in my life before in MMA,” said Patino. “It gave me a chance to show everybody I have good jiu-jitsu and the experience to change the position and get the (guillotine) submission.
“I think I fought very well. He did a good job and I appreciate him, and I did my best, made him tap and am still champion.”
Having just about seen and done everything in a nearly 20-year career, Patino has not lost one ounce of passion for fighting.
“I love fighting, I love training, and I love MMA. I think if I’d stop, I’d die,” he said with a laugh. “I have to have challenges in my life. I’m training hard (for multiple upcoming fights) and this pushes me. This is my life and I think I will never stop.”
With bouts scheduled all over the world in coming months, Patino intends to remain active and cherish every opportunity that comes his way.
“I have a lot of goals for this year,” he said. “I will fight in Pancrase in March then in Australia in April and another bout in Brazil in May, and I will do my best for everybody, and for me I want to get more belts, more titles in my career.
“Maybe I can get back to the UFC, I’m not sure. I will just do my best in my fights and show everybody that Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino can still do it.”