T minus 3 days and counting. UFC 148 is closing in, and I'm here to give you a little more insight, straight from the fighter's mouth. From the main card, we have Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote in a fight that's sure to be a hard charger. These two strikers both have something to prove, with Le looking to get his first win inside the octagon, and Cote just having re-signed with the UFC. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, The Predator gives his thoughts on his upcoming bout, and why there's still unfinished business between him and Michael Bisping.
*Note: Interviewer is either my co-host, Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, or myself. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "Interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: You made a point during the past year and a half away from the UFC to not sign a long term contract with any other organizations. Did you do that because you felt loyal to the UFC or because other organizations just couldn't meet the expectations you may have set?
Patrick Cote: When I received my paper, everybody was asking me why I didn't sign with the other major organizations. I said, 'Listen, I don't have anything against those guys, and I think they're great organizations, but in my head, I'm a UFC fighter, and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get back in the big show. Here I am, I'm back.
Interviewer: This will be your 12th fight within the UFC. Are you ready to make another serious title run, or are you just going in there to put on a show, and let whatever happens be the direction you take?
Patrick Cote: Yes I am. You know, I've already tasted a title fight. I was there, and it was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck, but I'm only 32 years old. I'm still young in this sport. I'm getting ready to fight a guy who's 40 years old, but he's still on top of his game. That shows me I still have some time too. I just signed a four fight deal with the UFC, so that shows me that they still want me for a long time. All around, I'm happy with everything.
I'm so ready for this fight. If you don't prepare for a guy like Cung Le, you're going to get dropped. I've brought in a good southpaw kicker into my camp. You have to be real careful with a guy like that. His moves are real tricky, but he can't hurt me if he's going on his back. He can't hurt me if he's going backward and I'm putting all the pressure on him.
I know it's going to be a war. We're on probably the biggest card of the year, so we don't have a choice to bring it. We just have to bring it. For the crowd, for the fans at home, for the UFC, for everybody. I have my comeback and it's a big fight on the main PPV card against Cung Le. That's a huge opportunity for me. With a win over Cung Le, I'm back in the mix right away.
Interviewer: Is this fight a good change of pace for you in that you know Cung Le is not in there to take you down, and will almost exclusively stand and trade?
Patrick Cote: Yes, but everyone that tries to stand with me, except Anderson, gets knocked out. I'm pretty confident he'll want to stay on his feet, but I knew that wrestling was my weakness, so I've been training hard for the last year and a half with the national team. Now I can say that I have all I need. I'm very well prepared, both mentally and physically.
Interviewer: Does the fact that Cung is also a movie star give you some added incentive to get an impressive victory?
Patrick Cote: [LAUGHS] Uh, yeah. For this one, I'm going to focus more on the fighter, though.
Interviewer: What are your thoughts on the recent influx of fighters testing positive for steroids?
Patrick Cote: You know, you can take all the steroids you want, but it's not going to give you skills. Pure skill and technique will always beat pure strength. Everybody was giving Chael Sonnen a hard time after his fight with Anderson Silva, saying he gave Anderson such a hard time because he took something. I'm sorry, but he dropped Silva about four times in the first three rounds. That's skill. That's not from what he put in his body. Maybe in the fourth and fifth rounds, when it seemed he still had the same amount of energy, you could say something there, but steroids don't give you skills. That's what you have to think of first.
Interviewer: Over the last five or six years, you have made it known that you would like to fight Michael Bisping. Do you still feel that way, or is he not really on your radar at this point?
Patrick Cote: We'll see how I feel after my fight. I don't really think I need to call him out though. The UFC knows that I've been asking for this fight for a long time. Now that I'm back, I'm going to prove that I'm still in the mix. I'm going to beat Cung Le badly. I want this fight and they know that.
If everything goes well, Montreal is in four months, and Bisping's injury recovery might be done. I'm sure he'll say that I don't deserve to fight him and all these things. He keeps saying he thinks he won the fight against Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, but he's a crybaby. If he don't want to get screwed by the judge, and if he didn't have pillow fists, he probably would have won the fight against Chael Sonnen. Work on your power and stop talking. I don't know what's going on with him, but I'm ready anytime. I've been asking for that fight for six years, but let me tell you something. I need to take care of Cung Le first. My energy is focused on him because he's still a very dangerous opponent. Then I can see what's gonna happen with Bisping.
Follow Patrick Cote via his Twitter, @Patrick_Cote