Canadian Middleweight Patrick Cote Dropping to 170 Pounds at UFC 158
It has been a crazy week of events for Canadian UFC middleweight Patrick Cote. He had a rematch with Alessio Sakara booked and canceled within the last few days of each other, and now, according to MMAJunkie.com, he has announced that he will drop down to the welterweight division for his next fight.
He started the week booked in a rematch with Sakara at UFC 158 in March back in his home town of Montreal. The two middleweight journeyman just battled in November at UFC 154 in a very controversial fight that saw Cote win by disqualification. The rematch was set to settle the score but was then quickly canceled on Monday as Sakara had to pull out for health reasons.
Cote's move down to welterweight seemingly puts an end to any rematch with the Italian, and it seems now the UFC will have to find him an opponent at 170 pounds.
Cote returned to the UFC this past July, after being released from the promotion in 2010. He lost a unanimous decision to Cung Le at UFC 148.
Cote had a runner-up finish at middleweight on Season 4 of "The Ultimate Fighter." But after that loss to Travis Lutter, he rattled off five straight wins—four in the UFC—to get a middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva at UFC 190.
Who should Cote fight in his 170-pound debut?
Cote blew his knee out in the third round, giving him a TKO loss. He returned 18 months later and lost to Alan Belcher in Montreal at UFC 113. A loss to Tom Lawlor at UFC 121 sent him back outside the organization.
Four wins in a year's time got him back, but the loss to Le gave him another four-fight skid in the promotion. The DQ win over Sakara likely saved his job in the octagon—though he also does work for the UFC on its French-language broadcasts and was doing so even while fighting outside the organization.
The UFC is expected to announce Cote's new opponent soon, and he is expected to remain on the card at UFC 158. There are some intriguing possibilities out there such as Paulo Thiago, Thiago Alves or even Dan Hardy.
The card takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre and is headlined by welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre's title defense against former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz.
It is turning out to be a real welterweight showcase as it also features welterweight bouts between Johny Hendricks and Jake Ellenberger and a rematch between Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report UFC and regular contributor to Sportsnet.ca's UFC section. Follow him on Twitter @wakafightermma.
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