It is not often you will find the last name ‘Gracie’ in the losing column when searching an opposing fighter’s win-loss record and it is even more rare to discover a mixed martial artist has beaten two Gracies back to back.
Rich Patisnock, now 6-1, did just that this past weekend at World Series of Fighting 5 at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J when he earned a unanimous decision victory over Gregor Gracie.
Built as somewhat of a revenge or grudge match for the Gracie Family, Patishnock was paired against Gregor, half-brother to Igor Gracie whom Patisnock had defeated in March.
In his post-fight interview Patishnock stated that he felt he deviated a bit from his gameplan yet he was satisfied with the victory.
“That was my strategy. I really didn’t think I did that well with my strategy, but that was my strategy, and I’m glad everybody thought I did it,” Patishnock said. “I wasn’t surprised at all. I thought that’s what he would come out and do, as opposed to his brother. I thought Gregor was more of a striker to go for his takedowns. I was actually surprised he tried to take me down without trading first.”
USCS was interested to see what exactly the New Jersey native now fighting out of Pennsylvania had up his sleeve and what exactly the game plan was so we contacted Patishnock’s head coach at Chamber MMA in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Don Cioffi, who shared the game plan his team constructed for their 170-pound fighter who scored consecutive wins over the most notable family name in mixed martial arts.
USCS – What was the plan for Rich’s fight against Gregor and how well did he execute it?
Cioffi – “The game plan for the Gregor fight was to keep the fight standing by circling away from his power hand and control the tempo of fight. If Gregor got the fight to the ground Rich was to work on getting back up to standing. At no time was he to get involved in grappling match. We wanted Rich to control the tempo with his movement, striking and angles to frustrate Gregor and force him to get winded chasing Rich. Rich was very successful in sticking to the game plan and this enabled him to keep the fight standing where it was in Rich’s favor. I also think it’s important for new fighters to get quality headgear that can protect them.”
USCS – How did this gameplan differ from when Rich fought Igor?
Cioffi – “This game plan was similar to the one we had designed for Igor but Rich did not use his standup to keep the fight standing and let Igor get to close to him.”
USCS – Who helped with the gameplan? Which coaches?
Cioffi – “The coaches in Rich’s camp were myself, Don Cioffi (striking, boxing) Sean Diggs ( Muay Thai, striking), Andy Main (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), Jeremy Hubbard (strength and conditioning). The only change from the camp for Igor was Andy Main our BJJ coach. I knew Andy had trained with the Gracies for years and approached him about coming on board for the Gregor fight. I told Andy that I wanted to work on Rich getting back up if Gregor was able to get it to the ground. Andy did an amazing job of preparing Rich for Gregor and this showed when Gregor took him down and Rich got it back standing quickly. Andy is now training under Marcello Garcia considered to be one of the top BJJ players in the world. Also we had great sparring partners for Rich in camp they pushed Rich to the edge and got him ready, sparring partners were Chamber teammates Donny Cioffi, Eric Roncoroni, Demetrius Lindsey.”
USCS – Did Rich stick to the plan or did he have to deviate from it at all?
Cioffi – “This fight Rich stuck to game plan and was successful in controlling the tempo and setting up his striking with his movement and angles off strikes. There were a few times when Rich had to be reminded to stay on plan but on a whole he carried it out the way we trained for it in camp. The biggest thing is that he trained hard with the right gear to do the job.”
USCS – What’s next for him?
Cioffi – “We are now bringing Rich down to the 155lb weight class and awaiting word from WSOF on possible next opponent. I am very proud of the game plan we had in place from the coaches to the training partners, this was a huge team effort to guarantee Rich was ready for Gregor.”