Sometimes you can just see the fireworks coming when you hear about an MMA matchup that is about to take place. Styles make fights, and often when styles match up perfectly there will definitely be sparks flying.
UFC 113 is no exception to this rule, hosting a fantastic Middleweight contest featuring Patrick Cote as he takes on Alan Belcher. Bleacher Report recently spoke with the former Middleweight title contender Cote and asked about his career, his injuries and what led him to the UFC.
Cote started his MMA career in the Canadian TKO promotion and quickly became a shining star. When asked about the competition in Canada, Cote responded “It’s pretty good, TKO was a really good organization at that time.”
Cote validated the Canadian fighters, showing how many had moved on to bigger organizations. Cote explained, “Everybody from Canada who are in the UFC now are from the TKO organization: Mark Hominick, Chris Horodecki, Sam Stout, Jonathan Goulet, and George St. Pierre”
Naturally there are major differences between MMA in Canada and the US, which Patrick spoke about: “I think in the US they have more exposure, more gyms, and more attention from the media.”
Patrick has moved his training to Brazilian Top Team Canada under Fabio Holanda as well as still training with Mark DellaGrotte at team Sityodtong. When asked about the major changes to his game since training with these two top camps, Cote replied, “Since I’ve had this combination with BTT Canada and Sityodtong I’m undefeated, going for a streak of five fights in a row.”
He continued, “I’ve been on top with those guys and in my head I don’t have any reason to change that.”
Before his time on the Ultimate Fighter Season Four, Cote’s UFC record was 0-3.
“Even if I had a bad start with the UFC, I always gave a good fight," said Cote. "I think it was just a question of time, the UFC were very patient with me and I appreciate that, they knew I was better than my UFC record at that time.”
A huge turning point in Patrick’s career was competing on the Ultimate Fighter Comeback Season: “It was a really good experience and I think it helped for me to stay in the UFC.”
Cote defeated Jorge Rivera and Edwin Dewees on the show and felt they were solid wins. After the reality series Patrick told us, “I was finally able to prove that I was able to fight in the UFC.”
After his return from The Ultimate Fighter , Cote was on a five-fight win streak, including wins over Scott Smith, Jason Day, Kendall Grove, Drew McFedries and Ricardo Almeida.
When asked how he garnered success so fast, Cote replied, “It’s just the first win, after I won against Scott Smith that was just a relief and I was able to fight the way I know how.
"It was just the running and the chase of the first win in the UFC and once I had it then it was easy for me to fight.”
Following his streak Patrick faced off against Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. At the time nobody had made it past Round Two with Silva, but Cote managed to make it into Round Three.
“I’m not saying I was winning the fight but I felt good, I had fun. I’m a puncher and you don’t know what can happen with a fighter like me.”
Cote also spoke about his strategy: “We had a good game plan and hoped to open up more in the third and fourth rounds but unfortunately I had some bad luck. I fought and I was still there, he gave me his best shot and I was still there and still healthy.”
“I’m 200% I would fight tomorrow if they asked me,” was Patrick’s answer to how he was feeling following his knee injury that he sustained during his fight with Silva in October of 2008. Cote does not feel that his previous injury will play a part in his upcoming fight.
UFC 113 marks Cote’s return to the octagon against skilled Middleweight star Alan “The Talent” Belcher. Cote feels “he is a really complete athlete; he has a good chin, really tough, really good skills on his feet and a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu brown belt.”
Patrick sees the fight being very exciting and stated, “I know his strength is on his feet and that’s good for me and that’s why I think it’s going to be a good fight for the crowd because if he wants to stay on his feet with me it’s going to be a big war.”
This bout could easily decide a future contender for Anderson Silva’s Middleweight title. When Cote was asked about a possible meeting with Silva again, he replied, “I really don’t care about this guy (Silva). I fought him because he was the champion at the time and my goal is to have another title shot, but first is Alan Belcher.”
UFC 113 takes place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and will have Patrick performing in front of his home crowd for the first time in his UFC career: “I think it’s going to be great to have the power of the crowd and support of the crowd,” Cote said. “The crowd will have a bigger effect on Alan Belcher because the crowd will be very hostile towards him.”
Cote spoke very openly about his love for his career in the sport of MMA: “I like everything about it, I’m a professional athlete, not a street fighter, I don’t fight on the streets or in a bar, I train full time really hard to deliver the best performance I can in the octagon and when I’m there and I fight it’s a happy place for me.”
The Canadian-born Middleweight will have his hands full with Alan “The Talent” Belcher this coming Saturday, but a true “predator” will press and test his prey and that logic will come into play at UFC 113.