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Steve Cofield

Super knee has Côté returning with high hopes

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Anderson Silva has had a rough go of it at times the last two years. He often loses his focus in fights and lets his showboating overshadow the effort. Patrick Côté can say his title shot at UFC 90 against "The Spider" started the UFC middleweight champ down this negative path.

Côté survived for nearly three rounds against the master before blowing out his knee early in the fourth round.

"I felt good, I had fun," Côté told Brett Okamoto from the Las Vegas Sun. "He gave me his best shot and I was still there. Our game plan was to survive the first two rounds and then open up in the third. Of course, that's when I broke my knee. But when that happened, I felt really, really good.

"I wasn't that disappointed afterward. Bad luck happens. I was in the locker room and everybody was happy around me. Minotauro (Antonio Nogueira) came in and told me, 'Nobody has ever done that to Anderson Silva, you did good.'"

Côté hasn't fought since the loss to Silva. It's been 18 months because of a torn ACL, MCl and meniscus that he aggravated several times. His issues with the left knee started when Côté, 30, was just 17 years old, so his dcctor went to extremes during his most serious surgery.

"When I went back for surgery, instead of just one ligament the doctor put in two from a cadaver. So now, instead of one, I have two."

Côté is definitely in for a fight against Alan Belcher, who's a very nasty striker with excellent kicks. The French-Canadian isn't looking ahead, but he's got his opinons about Silva, who disrespected him during their fight, and did it again against Demian Maia.

"I had a lot of respect for the guy — I lost it," Côté said. "The base of martial arts is respect. If you want to be cocky, I don't have a problem with that, but you have to back what you do. If you're bored or too good for a division, then go in and finish a guy.

"Against Demian Maia he was yelling at him, 'Where's your jiu-jitsu,' but then he didn't want to go to the ground. That's kind of funny to challenge somebody about the best aspect of his game but not want to prove that you're better than him at it. It's kind of crazy."

Côté (14-5, 4-5 UFC) should be a huge hit in Montreal on Saturday. He missed out on fighting in his home province at UFC 82 and 97.

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