Let me start out by saying that I admire Patrick Cote as much as any fighter in all of MMA. I would also wish Cote the best of luck and admiration for coming back from a horrible knee injury in the biggest fight of his career!
The scrappy Canadien might not have been ahead of Anerson Silva in the fight, but he made into the third round and was in the fight, something no other fighter has been able to say since the Spider has joined the UFC.
Now Cote will resume his fighting career at UFC 113 against Alan Belcher, who no matter what you think of personally, is as scrappy as they come and will be a strict test for the once highly regarded Cote.
I however see this as a very tough return match for Cote, as Belcher likes to push the pace in every fight and Cote, at one time , the number two fighter in the division has not seen action of any kind for quite some time.
I would prefer to see Cote take it a little slower in his return but Belcher could be a wise choice, depending on who you ask.
Sure Cote could have probably come back with a fight against Chris "the Crippler " Leben or some other journeyman/veteren, but I am afraid that the style would be a mistake, with such fighters knowing Cote's knee issue and would use a gameplan of legkicks, whether Cote's knee is ready for that or not, would probably be a mental challenge more than a physical one.
What I do want to know and probably will find out very quickly is where is Patrick's conditioning is going to come into play against the tough as nails Belcher, who in wins and losses, has never been one whose heart has ever been of question.
A year and a half ago this fight would not even be close in my mind, with Cote having the advantage in both striking and grappling.
However, I will have to give the edge to Belcher in this fight, all because of the fact of Cote's inactivity. A sad reason to give Belcher the edge in this fight, but that is just the way I feel at this moment.
But with due time I do expect Cote to return right back were he left off, and by then Silva may no longer be fighting in the UFC or at least in the same division as Cote.
Unless Anderson feels obligated to give Patrick a long deserved rematch, but until then, it will be one fight at a time for the second best fighter to come out of Canada.