Patrick Cote Confident He’ll Retain Power as Welterweight: “You Hit Hard Not Because You’re Heavier, You Hit Hard Because of the Technique”
Fighter Hoping to Make Debut at 170 in March
By Kelsey Mowatt
Not long into his MMA career, Patrick Cote decided his maximum potential could only be realized competing at middleweight rather than light-heavyweight, and within a few years, the Canadian had worked his way into a title shot with UFC champion Anderson Silva. Now, as “The Predator” is set to begin his 13th year of professional fighting, Cote has decided that another change is necessary to keep up with the ever evolving sport of MMA. The veteran has announced that he is moving to welterweight for his 27 professional fight.
“The thing is, a couple years ago I was a big, average middleweight,” Cote (18-8) said, while discussing his decision to move to the 170 pound division. “Right now though, with the knowledge of cutting weight, knowledge of dieting and knowledge of nutrition, most guys can cut from 230, 235 to make 185….I walk around at 210. So right now those guys are really, really big.”
Of course, the aforementioned Silva has demonstrated his ability to perform at 205 pounds on several occasions, and the middleweight division’s former number one contender in Chael Sonnen is now set to face light-heavyweight king Jon Jones.
“I was talking to my coaches, my nutritionist and my doctor, and they told me it is very possible for me to make 170,” the 5’11 tall Cote relayed. “If I can make 170 I’m going to be a big welterweight, which is why I made my decision.”
Although many fighters have had success by dropping down in weight, like former light-heavyweight and now middleweight contender Tim Boetsch, others have decided that the cut sapped them of energy and strength. One of the more recent examples of this is Ross Pearson, who after competing at featherweight, recently returned to lightweight and stopped George Sotiropoulos.
“I think it’s pretty smart to be the bigger fighter in the division then the smaller one,” said Cote, who is coming off a win over Alessio Sakara in November, after the fighter was disqualified for punching him to the back of the head. “If you can make it then I think its the smarter choice to do it. Right now I’m going into something I don’t know.”
“I know how to cut weight, but I’ve never made 170 before, but I’m very confident about the people who are around me,” Cote furthered. “They check my weight, my health and all my food every few days. I have a constant following about my progression cutting weight.”
Of course, over the years Cote has forged a reputation for possessing knockout power, and it will be interesting to see how his striking game plays out as a welterweight.
“I don’t think I’m going to lose any power in my hands by dropping weight,” said Cote, who knocked out Gustavo Machado this past March. “You hit hard not because you’re heavier, you hit hard because of the technique. You know how to box and you know how to transfer your weight; that’s the main part of why you have the power.”
“I’m going to a big wrestling division now so I’m going to have to upgrade my wrestling a lot to use my principle skills, which is striking,” Cote added. “ I know I’m going to a completely different weight division and a completely different style because of the wrestling.”
Although some fighters require an extended period of time to make the move to a new weight division, Cote reports that the process is already underway and that he plans on making his welterweight debut in early 2013.
“I’m still wishing to fight in Montreal. For us, the target is still March 16th,” said Cote, who was scheduled to rematch Sakara on that date, until the fighter was forced to withdraw due to a kidney issue. “We don’t know yet; we don’t when the fight’s going to be, but for sure, my target is March 16th and my doctor and nutritionist have no doubt that I can do it.”