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Australian Fighting Championship

Daniel Hooker next for Nick ‘Banjo’ Patterson

CRANBOURNE MMA sensation Nick “Banjo” Patterson says a broken thumb won’t derail his push for the lightweight title after he scored a unanimous win over Bernado “Trekko” Magalhaes in AFC8.

Patterson edged closer to his UFC dream with a convincing win at Melbourne Pavilion on Saturday night, downing former UFC competitor Magalhaes and setting up a showdown with Daniel Hooker at AFC9 on May 3.

Patterson brushed aside concerns about his busted thumb post fight, despite writhing in agony as he was assessed by the doctor post fight.

“No, it will be healed by then,” Patterson said.

“We always get injured in fights. It’s very rare that you don’t end up with something bad. Bad bruising can put you out for a long time as well. Cuts can put you out and you can stretch ligaments, tear muscles – all sorts of things can happen.”

Yesterday, Patterson underwent a scan which revealed a break in his thumb.

“It’s very sore, but I threw it very hard. Hands aren’t really designed to hit skulls, so it’s very common to do this to your hands,” he said.

“It’s probably a break, that’s all right.”

Patterson believes he sustained the injury late in the second round.

“I remember in between the second and third round I said to my coach “I’ve hurt my hand”, but I just kept throwing it anyway,” he said.

“It was only five more minutes of my life, why not do it?

“It was kind of numb. In between rounds I could feel it was not right. “You go all numb and you dont even know. You know something is wrong and I’m feeling it now.”

Patterson also copped a knock to his forehead, above the left eye, which required five stitches.

“It was just a head clash. It could feel that there was some blood and that warm feeling when it comes out,” he said.

“I was a little concerned in between rounds but my coach said it was nothing bad.”

Patterson dictated large portions of the three-round bout, which proved to be a striking battle, much to his surprise.

“I just sat really low and I thought he was going to take me to the ground and use his grappling, which is his strength and he ended up standing with me and throwing hands, which really was better for me,” he said.

“And we ended up clinched up all the time and I was able to beat him to the punch, and I am big and strong for this weight class, and I did the weight cut well and I was fit.

“So I was able to be strong all the way through in all the clinches and the wrestling.

“I didn’t start to fizzle out and run out of cardio.

“I was quicker with the boxing and that helped me out, too.”

With a beaming smile, Patterson spoke of his path to potential stardom.

“I’m very happy with the performance. He (Magalhaes) fought in the UFC, the biggest show in the world, and I was able to beat him so that means I know I’m up there,” he said.

“All those feelings I’ve had about my own skills, I know I’m going to start getting a bit of credibility.

“The AFC sees me as one of the best in the country, but outside of the country I’m not getting a lot of respect from the other promoters and this will give me an opportunity.

“It’s a good foot in the door for the UFC now that I’ve beaten someone that was on their show and I beat him unanimously as well.”

Patterson will now face Hooker, knowing his UFC dream rides on the result.

“I think if I beat him, there’s a good chance I’ll get into the show,” he said.

“I put my wife through a lot and I can’t do it forever.

“This year is my year to prove that I can get in there to get a door in the door for the UFC.”

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