Patrick Cote Says “New Version Of Me, With More Skills” Will Look to KO Cung Le
By Kelsey Mowatt
After being cut by the UFC in 2010, following a unanimous decision to Tom Lawlor and his third consecutive defeat, Patrick Cote has continued to win and push for his Octagon return. Recently, not only was the former middleweight contender informed that he had been awarded a new UFC contract, but he will jump right back into the main card spotlight against Cung Le on July 7th.
“It’s still pretty fresh,” Cote told FCF, while discussing his reaction to the recent news that he will fight Le at UFC 148. “I was finishing my training and they called me around two o’clock and it was my manager; he said ‘hey, good news’, so I knew it right away.”
“There was a lot of pressure from the fans on Twitter,” Cote furthered. “All the support I received I’m very thankful for that. The fans started a rally to get me back in the UFC, so that helped a lot, and I think I deserve to be back.”
Cote will replace Le’s original opponent Rich Franklin, who has been moved into the UFC 147 main event against Wanderlei Silva, due to the broken hand Vitor Belfort recently incurred in training.
“When he told me it was against Cung Le, I was like ‘really? Nice,” Cote added. “I was really happy. I knew that I was ready to be back in the UFC but I didn’t expect to be back in a big fight like that right away, on the big card, but I’m ready to go.”
On March 31st, Cote knocked out Gustavo Machado in the first round at Amazon Forest Combat 2 to extend his winning streak to four. After the bout, Cote relayed to FCF that he believed the stoppage win was the final piece he needed to make a case for his UFC return.
“After my fight with Machado I was very confident to be back in the UFC,” said Cote, when asked if the UFC had contacted him prior to offering the fight with Le. “I thought I had a spot on the Calgary card, but time passed, and I was checking the card everyday and I was seeing a fight booking one after another.”
“I was staying in shape and I knew if there were injuries or a late replacement that would be me,” Cote furthered. “That’s what they told me; to be ready just in case, so that’s what I did and that’s what happened.”
Due to the fact that Cote has consistently looked to engage his opponents standing–as he did against Anderson Silva in 2008–one might expect the middleweight to approach Le in the same fashion, despite the fighter’s renowned striking abilities.
“We’ll see; we’ll see,” said Cote, while discussing whether he is willing to stand and trade with the decorated San Shou competitor. “As I’ve said in past interviews before, the last year and a half I did a lot of wrestling, especially with the National Team, with former Olympic athletes. Now I’m more well rounded.”
“It’s the new version of me, with more skills,” Cote added. “I’m still going to stay on my feet and try to knock him out, but I’m not scared to bring my wrestling and try some takedowns too. But there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll go there and stay on my feet, try to knock him out for sure.”
And what did Cote think of Le’s Octagon debut at UFC 139 in November? When he was stopped by Wanderlei Silva in the second round?
“He came out very strong in the first round, and Wanderlei was a little shy I think, but as soon as he put pressure on Cung that’s where he had success,” Cote noted. “I think that’s the key; you have to put a lot of pressure on him to avoid all those crazy kicks, and I think in the second round Cung gassed a little bit and Silva took advantage of that.”