MONTREAL- MAY 8: Alan Belcher (R) kicks Patrick Cote in the stomach in their middleweight bout at UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Former UFC middleweight title challenger Patrick Cote was released from the organization following a loss to Tom Lawlor at UFC 121, and he's been steadily working to get back into the promotion ever since. Four straight wins earned him that phone call, and he'll be facing Cung Le on the main card of UFC 148 on July 7th. Cote spoke to Sportsnet about his opponent, and his rebirth in the biggest promotion in the world. First, his opinion of Le:
"Le is a super good striker, a very powerful kicker with some weird angles," Cote said. "I’m going to have my hands full with him but I’m really, really confident I’m going to be able to put him away especially coming from a big knockout from Wanderlei Silva."
And how he'll be a new fighter, not the guy he was in his last run:
"I want to erase the last fight I did against Tom Lawlor in the UFC management's head. That was a pretty bad fight, I take the blame for that. I feel like I'm reborn in the UFC, have to come back and show I deserve to be there. I improved much more my game, especially my wrestling, now I'm ready to be back and show the world my new skills. I'm not going to bring back the old Cote, I'm going to bring back a new Cote. You're going to see a lot of improvement, but still a lot of power in my hands, and a solid chin."
I spent a while thinking about who Le should fight after Rick Franklin was moved to UFC 147, and I basically drew a blank. I hadn't even considered Cote, but he's an excellent choice in my eyes and it should be a very entertaining fight.