Following his fourth win in a row, Patrick Cote started to get the feeling that maybe he'd soon get a call from the UFC welcoming him back into the fold.
The former middleweight title contender exited the UFC after three consecutive losses ending with his UFC 121 defeat at the hands of Tom Lawlor in October of 2010.
With a new commitment to his training, Cote started to fight his way back and after four wins he thought it might be time for him return. He didn't care when, he didn't care against who and he didn't mind if it was the first fight of the night, as long as he was back.
“I'd be lying if I said I was expecting to be back in a big fight like that, a part of the biggest card of the year. So I'm just happy right now,” Cote admitted when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
Cote's reputation has always been a fighter that puts on exciting match-ups and swings for the fences, usually resulting in a finish. So it was a natural fit when the UFC pulled Le's original opponent Rich Franklin to fight at injury riddled UFC 147 and put Cote in his place.
“They gave me this fight because they know I'm going to bring it. I'm hungry, I won my last four fights, and I think they did that because they wanted to see a good show and that's what I'm going to do,” said Cote.
Any fight on short notice is going to be tricky. You don't have as much time to prepare, cut weight, break down video and techniques on your opponent, and let's face it, Cung Le's style isn't the easiest to get ready for even with a full training camp.
Le has marked his MMA career with spectacular kicks that come from every direction and angle, and still stands as one of the most unique fighters in the sport when it comes to his style of fighting.
Cote gives Le his credit for being creative, but does put the brakes on the idea that he is always innovating new moves that could throw a late notice opponent into disarray.
“It's very tricky with his legs, very unorthodox and he's very powerful. I brought two guys into my training camp on short notice. They came to Montreal to help me a lot. Two southpaw kickers and they can do the style of Cung Le,” said Cote.
“Yes he's tricky, he's very agile with his legs, but he's not doing anything new in his fights. He's going to do the same thing in this fight as he did in his fight against (Frank) Shamrock, and in his fight against Wanderlei (Silva) in the first round. It's not going to be any surprise.”
Some would point at Cote and say much the same thing – he's a boxer with very powerful hands and a granite chin. If that's how you want to define Patrick Cote, go right ahead because he believes he has a few surprises in store.
“My game all around is 10 times better than when I fought at UFC 121, my last fight in the UFC. I wrestled for a year and a half, four times a week with the national team, I pushed a lot to upgrade my weakness and I knew that was my wrestling,” Cote stated.
“It gives me more confidence in my hands and in my stand-up game because I'm not scared to throw some more power punches because I know I'm going to be able to defend if he tries to take me down. I think I'm more dangerous on my feet than I was before.”
Now the key for Cote is to show why the UFC brought him back when he faces Cung Le at UFC 148.
- Patrick Cote
- Cung Le