The Ultimate Fighter: Nations finale co-main event saw the coaches from the reality series square off for a 15-minute duel. The fight was expected to be competitive, and it was, going the distance, with each man having his moments.
But how the fight played out was rather curious. Patrick Cote the striker relied on his grappling—traditionally a weakness—while submission specialist Kyle Noke struggled to stay upright and keep it a kickboxing match. In the end, Cote's takedowns determined the outcome of the bout.
What we will remember about this fight
It was an entertaining scrap that featured a little striking, a few wrestling tussles and some grappling on the side. Both fighters brought a good game to the Octagon and put on a solid show.
More than that, this was the cap on the TUF: Nations season, which went entirely Canada's way: four finalists, two winners and a victorious coach.
It all made the crowd at the Colisee Pepsi very happy.
What we learned about Patrick Cote
We learned that Quebec loves him. Basically every time he breathed, the crowd erupted in applause. But, I suppose, we already knew that.
A new takeaway was Cote's fighting style. Traditionally, he's been a guy who has fought well on the feet but has given it all back on the mat and against the fence. His ability to persevere when his main artillery wasn't firing right bodes well for his latest UFC run.
What we learned about Kyle Noke
Noke fought a solid fight, outstriking the striker Cote. Unfortunately, the Australian could not prevent the takedown or successfully finish any of the guillotines or triangles he threatened with.
There was perhaps nothing profound that Noke taught us about himself on Wednesday night. He fought hard, fought well and was classy after the fact. But we expect nothing less at this point.
What's next for Cote
While it was a feel-good victory, it's not, in and of itself, monumental. That Cote has won three straight and seven of eight is more important.
If a return to 185 is in the cards, I'd like to see him fight the winner of Costas Philippou vs. Lorenz Larkin or Yoel Romero, regardless of how he fares in his upcoming match against Brad Tavares.
If Cote remains at 170, Tarec Saffiedine could be a good matchup.
What's next for Noke
He has dropped three of four, but a pink slip seems unlikely since he just boosted his profile as a coach on TUF. I suspect he'll be back but probably on some Fight Pass prelim against a little-known opponent.
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