UFC 148: Patrick Cote Is the Fighter with Most to Gain

Michael HatamotoContributor IIIJune 28, 2012

MONTREAL, CANADA - JUNE 27:  Patrick Cote trains with a sparring partner during a public training session on June 27, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images for Zuffa)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

UFC veteran Patrick Cote will be welcomed back into the UFC Octagon at UFC 148 when he faces Cung Le on the main card next Saturday.

Even if he isn't near an immediate title fight, Cote has the most to gain during UFC 148 next Saturday.  His return to the UFC will be featured on the main card of one of the most anticipated fight cards of the year, with the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.

In addition, he was given a fight against a fighter that will stand and trade with him—Cote has heavy hands and a solid chin, so Le knocking him out seems rather unlikely.  Le will have to try and carefully pick his shots while avoiding Cote’s heavy hands, with wrestling and overall MMA skills in the French-Canadian’s favor.

To be successful, Cote will need to take the fight to Le—make him uncomfortable and knock him off his game.  The Sanshou kickboxer will look to utilize a certain range against Le, where he can land strikes and kicks against the heavy-handed Cote.

Since losing three straight fights and earning a pink slip from the UFC, Cote has won four consecutive fights.  Three of the fights, against Kalib Starnes, Todd Brown and Crafton Wallace, were against former UFC fighters, and the most recent fight, against Gustavo Machado, was a knockout win.

Cote knows what to look forward to in the cage on Saturday, July 7, according to The Canadian Press:

“He’s a very dangerous striker.  Explosive, very agile with his legs - some weird angles.  He’s tricky too… I’m going to have my hands full but I’m really confident that I’ll be able to put him away.”

There is a lot riding on this fight for Cote, as he’s a popular fighter with an exciting fight style—especially in Canada—and could find himself back towards the top of the middleweight division. 

With a victory, he opens the door to a potential rematch with Alan Belcher, the Duke Roufus fighter who submitted him during UFC 113.  With the majority of the top 25 middleweights signed with the UFC, there will be plenty of other potential matchups that can be made for Cote.

Despite not fighting for the UFC since UFC 121 in October 2010, Cote has served as French commentator for a number of the promotion’s events.  Also, Cote works for the TVA network as an MMA and boxing analyst, so he knows what has been taking place in the UFC.

When Cote and Le stand across from one another in the cage, MMA fans can expect fireworks from both strikers.