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Thursday, Feb 03, 2011

Cote Hoping Win Over Starnes Will be First Step Back to UFC

By Kelsey Mowatt
If there ever was a time to describe a fighter’s career with the words ‘roller coaster ride’, look no further then Patrick “The Predator” Cote. After pounding his way to a title shot against UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva in October, 2008, a series of knee injuries sidelined Cote until May, 2010. Upon his long awaited return, Cote incurred back-to-back defeats against Alan Belcher and Tom Lawlor, and now the former contender finds himself on the outside of the UFC looking in. It’s a position the 30 year-old-fighter has been in and rebounded from before. 
“My goal is to be back in the UFC,” Cote (13-7) recently told FCF. “I want to finish 2011 in the UFC. It’s going to start April 9th with Kalib Starnes and we’ll see after that. I’m supposed to fight in June as well, but I don’t want to look past Kalib Starnes, because that would be a big mistake; I respect him. In my mind I’m going to knock him out. I know that and he knows that too.”
Despite his recent setbacks, Cote remains one of Canada’s more accomplished MMA fighters, and it was no surprise when news surfaced that the Quebecois fighter would headline Ringside MMA’s upcoming April 9th event against the aforementioned Starnes.
“It’s good for Canadian and Quebec fighters,” said Cote, while discussing the growing Ringside MMA promotion, which will promote the Cote, Starnes bout at Montreal’s Bell Centre. “I think it’s great for the MMA world in Quebec, in Canada, another big organization like TKO used to be.”
“Me, Georges St. Pierre, David Loiseau, Jonathan Goulet, we’re all from TKO,” Cote added. “So I hope they’re going to be able to develop other young fighters that go into the big show after that.”
While most mainstream MMA fans likely remember Starnes for his widely criticized performance against Nate Quarry at UFC 83, the British Columbia fighter is coming off back-to-back victories against respected Canadian vets Nick Hinchliffe and Matt MacGrath. Both wins, which extended Starnes overall record to 13-5, came via the veteran’s highly developed submission skills.
“He just fought in Gatineau here last Friday,” said Cote about Starne’s recent win over MacGrath, which took place at Wreck MMA’s “Strong and Proud” event. “I went there to see his fight and he didn’t do anything new. I was expecting exactly what he did; I know his game and I’m going to prepare myself for that.”
Cote has demonstrated repeatedly throughout his career that he possesses KO power, and as a result, the middleweight often looks to stand-and-trade with his opponents. From the sounds of it, Cote doesn’t plan on implementing any new game plan come April 9th.
“I think he’s going to try to take me down,” Cote noted while discussing strategy for his bout with Starnes. “I think he has less skills than Tom Lawlor as a wrestler, but I’m going to prepare for everything like I always do; I’ll be prepared for this fight.”
While Cote is coming off back-to-back losses in 2010, the fighter is quick to dismiss any notion that the defeats came as a result of the lengthy layoff he incurred on account of his injured knees. Cote threatened the highly regarded Belcher during their UFC 113 bout, before he was slammed, dazed and submitted in the second round. In his disappointing, unanimous decision loss to Lawlor last October, Cote reports that he was far from 100% when he faced the experienced wrestler.
“When I was hitting the pads a few days before I had a big injury in my back,” said Cote while discussing the slipped disc in his back . “I thought I would be okay to fight, but the day of my fight, I wasn’t able to get out of my bed on my own…Everyone saw what happened, I wasn’t really there, I wasn’t able to move at all. I don’t want to take anything away from his performance, he did what he had to do, but I made a judgement mistake by still fighting.”
“Now I’m injury free and I’m able to start my road back to the UFC.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 3:34 pm
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