The headlining preliminary card fight of tonight's UFC 158 PPV in Montreal features Patrick Cote (18-8 MMA, 5-8 UFC) making his welterweight debut against Strikeforce's Bobby Voelker (24-8 MMA, 0-0 UFC). It's one of six welterweight matchups on the card, and it has the potential to be the most exciting.
Cote's last fight in Montreal saw him nearly knocked out for the first time in his career, but luckily more than 50% of Alessio Sakara's strikes were illegal. He'll be put to the test against a powerful and effective striker in Voelker. The UFC 158 prelims air live on FX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Cote: 33 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Voelker: 33 years old | 6'0"| 75" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
This is Cote's 3rd stint in the UFC. The first run saw him go 0-3 and promptly released. His second run came through TUF 4: The Comeback, but his record dropped to 0-4 when he lost to Travis Lutter in the final. Cote then went on a 4 fight win streak that saw him earn a title shot against Anderson Silva. The knee injury Cote suffered against Anderson set his career back significantly, and after two more losses he was out of the UFC again. Cote again rattled off 4 wins in a row, this time on the regional circuit, and he soon found himself back in the big time. "The Predator" dropped a decision to Cung Le at UFC 148, but won by DQ against Alessio Sakara at UFC 154 when Sakara illegally hit Cote in the back of the head on multiple occasions. Officials had planned an immediate rematch, but an injury to Sakara put that off the table, and now Cote is cutting to 170 for the first time.
Voelker went 4-1 in Strikeforce, and 3 of those fights were against Roger Bowling. He lost the first of their trilogy by the rare technical unanimous decision, but Voelker got the last laugh by winning the next two fights by lopsided TKO. Unfortunately for him, the third Bowling fight was in 2011, and he hasn't competed since then. Nevertheless, he still made it over to the UFC once Strikeforce shut its doors, and he's fighting in enemy territory after 19 months of inactivity.
Why should you care?
As irrelevant as this fight is within the context of the title picture, it's highly likely we get a fun striking matchup.