Bobby Voelker On UFC 158 Decision Loss to Patrick Cote: “I Really Thought That I Had It In The Bag”, “I Hope They Bring Me Back”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although winning is supposedly everything in MMA, one of the great and intriguing things about the sport is that a fighter’s performance, rather than the result, is what fans often recall the most. While Bobby Voelker would have liked to emerge as a winner at UFC 158, and many observers thought he should have, the Strikeforce veteran headed back to Kansas knowing he had delivered in his Octagon debut.
“I really hope they’re all impressed; I hope they bring me back,” Voelker said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, while discussing his unanimous decision loss to Patrick Cote, which UFC President Dana White described on Twitter as a “war.” “I’m going to put on good shows; that’s what I do. I’m going to get out there, get rowdy out there and put on a great show every time.”
In fact, the welterweight bout was so entertaining and violent, it appeared to be the frontrunner for “Fight of the Night” honors early on. At the end of the card, however, the Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks bout emerged as the FOTN winner.
“You know I was really hoping for that “Fight of the Night” bonus and all that good stuff,” said Voelker, who went approximately 18 months without fighting prior to UFC 158, due to knee surgery and Strikeforce’s sporadic schedule. “And then Johny and Condit went up to bat and they hit that homerun.”
The Voelker, Cote bout featured several memorable exchanges, as well as action standing, along the cage, and on the mat. While the bout was extremely competitive, Voelker was confident before the judge’s scores were announced, that his Octagon debut had been a victorious one.
“I honestly, I really thought that I had it in the bag,” said Voelker (24-9). “After the fight ended I got up, he was smiling, I helped him up, said good job and I was smiling, I got this one in the bag, I got this win; I know I’m in Canada and it’s tough to get a decision but I felt like I had it. I was standing there, with my head down kind of smirking, waiting for name to be called,and then I heard his name…It was a shocker.”
The bout marked the first time Voelker had fought since July, 2011, when he stopped Roger Bowling under the Strikeforce banner, and ended the fighter’s three fight win streak.
“It was a great experience,” Voelker noted. “I have to get back to work, just train harder, and be ready to take somebody’s head off next time.”
While Voelker may not have been a familiar name with “UFC only” fans, people who watched the resilient fighter during his Strikeforce tenure likely knew his bout with Cote could be a barnburner. After all, the aggressive Cote has never been one to shy away from a striking battle, and there have never been any questions about the Canadian’s chin.
“I’ve been watching him for years and he’s always been an exciting fighter that I loved to watch,” said Voelker about Cote, a former middleweight contender, who was making his welterweight debut. “I knew how tough he was, how hard he hit, and how composed and relaxed he was in there; nothing took me by surprise.”
“I knew he would be a hard guy to put away; no one has ever put him away,” Voelker furthered. “I had him staggered a few times and just couldn’t finish the job. Everything he gave me I expected.”
Of course, Voelker also demonstrated a remarkable capacity to absorb punishment and press on.
“He landed some good ones; he did land a good uppercut and he landed two or three good overhand rights,” Voelker said. “Nothing to stumble me or anything like that, I felt them, saw some stars and returned fire…If anything, if I could go back, I’d do all three rounds like I did the third one. Just go non-stop; go for the kill.”