Coming off his TKO loss to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 89 last June, welterweight veteran Patrick Cote took some much needed time off. Not only did Cote need the time off to heal, but becoming a first time father was also a big motivation for the extended layoff.
“I was dealing with injures,” Cote said at UFC 210 media day. “I got elbow surgery. I became a father too. I have a very nice baby girl now, so I wanted to take time, just enjoying that (and) not rushing anything.
“I had fought four times in one year last year, and I felt tired, mentally tired when I fought Cerrone and I realized that after. So I took time off, and I just wanted to get rest; my body and mentally too, and now I’m very, very happy that I took that time off, and I’m 100-percent now.”
The first task back for Cote (23-10) is a main card 170-pound bout with former title contender Thiago Alves at UFC 210 on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y. It’s a fight that Cote believes fans will not want to miss.
“I’m going to tell you something; my fight against Thiago Alves, it’s going to be fireworks,” said Cote. “(We both) want to get back in the winning column. He has two losses in a row, his back is to the wall, and I’m close to the border, and there are going to be a lot of Canadians coming to Buffalo to cheer just for me, so it’s going to be a fantastic fight.
“It’s a nice match-up for me. I know I’m going to probably have the size advantage. I’m the bigger guy. I think I’m better everywhere. I have more power. He’s a fantastic striker, but we have a couple of surprises for him.”
The fight will be Alves’ first at welterweight in nearly two years, following a disastrous attempt to make the 155-pound limit in his last bout against Jim Miller in November.
“You know what, (Alves) made a good point in a couple of interviews, making sacrifice to (get to) 155 pounds, giving a hard time to my body and not making more money because of that – that’s a good point,” Cote said. “Why suffer that much to make 155 pounds and you can’t make it? The only losses he’s had at 170 pounds is against Top 15 guys. He had a title fight at 170 pounds, so I can see why he came back to 170 pounds.”
With 15 years in MMA and over 30 fights, Cote knows his time in the sport is limited. And while some of his previous opponents, such as Tito Ortiz, Cung Le and Ricardo Almeida, have since retired; Cote is not quite ready to hang up his gloves yet.
“The time is coming,” said Cote. “The time is coming for sure. I’m not stupid. I know that it’s coming pretty soon. But I signed a new four-fight deal, after Cerrone, and one fight at a time. I never said that I will finish that contract. Maybe I will, and maybe I’m not, but one fight at a time.
“I’m 37 years old. I’m good with my future. I’m good with my after (fight) career. I did prepare that. I am fighting because I want it, and not because I need it. It’s fun. I’m doing it because it’s still fun. But yeah, (retirement) is close.”