On-paper, Alessio Sakara vs. Patrick Cote was a very interesting fight. It was two UFC veterans squaring off with, perhaps, their jobs on the line.
Patrick Cote, if you'll remember, was cut from the UFC back in 2010 following back-to-back-to-back losses to Anderson Silva, Alan Belcher and Tom Lawlor. He would proceed to rattle off four wins in smaller promotions, but came back to the UFC and promptly lost to a resurgent Cung Le. Going 0-2 in your return to the UFC rarely bodes well (just ask Efrain Escudero).
Alessio Sakara, meanwhile, has been fighting exclusively for the UFC since 2005, and is 7-6 (1) in the promotion. However, he is on a two fight losing streak after dropping a decision to Chris Weidman and getting the fudge knocked out of him by Brian Stann. The UFC hates three-fight losing streaks (just ask Damarques Johnson).
Dan Miragliotta Did a Horrible Job
At Bellator 81 Miragliotta did a great job refereeing the event from start to finish. Apparently, he took some manner of stupid pills on the bus from Rhode Island to Montreal and let Alessio Sakara go nuts on the back of Cote's head.
Yeah, Sakara did not actually get a win off it. That said, come on now. How many hits do you have to see before you give a warning? Even before the final barrage, Sakara landed some illegal hits.
Totally inexcusable mistake by a well-respected referee here.
This Probably Would Have Been a Good Fight
Before Sakara rabbit punched Cote a half-dozen times, this fight seemed like it was going to be a total brawl.
Cote and Sakara are both strong strikers with a lot of experience in the cage. This probably would have been a total war, alas, all that came of it was a proverbial headache for Sakara and a literal one for Cote. There were fireworks early, with Cote landing some hard punches and Sakara bringing home some scary elbows with his opponent against the cage.
Then match deteriorated into the farce written about above. What a waste.
This Rematch Needs To Happen! Now!
Yeah...this fight remains exciting and still makes sense. Book this for UFC on Fox 6.
A Win is a Win in Montreal, Apparently...
The crowd roared so hard following the announcement of Cote getting the DQ win that you would think he had scored the knockout of the night. If this happened in America, it probably would have been ruthlessly booed for being more or less a waste of a fight.
That is not to criticize the fans for being happy about this turn of events, and it is commendable that the Bell Centre is so electric. Come on, though! Cote just was gifted a victory by Sakara!
Still, Team TriStar is now 3-0 on the night, with Ivan Menjivar, John Makdessi and now Cote all triumphant. Can't blame the fans for being happy about that bottom line.