This weekend, former UFC Middleweight title challenger Patrick “The Predator” Cote will return to the Octagon, facing Cung Le in the main card action at UFC 148.
Cote was released from the UFC back in October, 2010, after losing three consecutive bouts (Silva, Belcher, Lawlor). Today, the French-Canadian heavy-hitter is on a four-fight win streak, with victories over three UFC veterans. Cote last seen defeating Gustavo Machado, in a fight that according to “The Predator” himself, solidified his place back in the UFC.
In his interview with LowKick.com, Patrick Cote spoke about making a statement against Cung Le, with sights on proving he’s still one of the top Middleweights on the planet. Cote is currently 17-7 in his career, with 8 KO/TKO and 3 Submission finishes. Interestingly enough, Patrick Cote made his UFC debut back at UFC 50 against no other than “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz, who will have his retirement bout on the same card. Cote is 5-7 in the UFC.
Hello Patrick, you’re fighting Cung Le on the main card of UFC 148. How do you feel about this fight?
I’m really happy to be back in the UFC, especially in big fight like that. This fight is going to be spectacular. We are both southpaw, so there’s going to be a lot of power-punching involved. I have my hands full on my first fight back with the UFC, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I’m ready to put up a show for the fans, and win this fight.
Can you talk about the process of getting back into the UFC? How did you get the call to fight Cung Le at UFC 148?
We asked them what we have to do to be back in the UFC one day. They asked us to get back on a winning streak with some finishes. That’s what I did – four wins in a row, finished my last two opponents in first round, so yeah, I did my part. But from another side, I received a lot of support from my fans on Twitter, they did a rally or something like that. So you know, this thing helped for sure. I was just waiting for that kind of a situation where somebody got hurt and I have a spot to jump in.
You have roughly two months to prepare for Cung Le. Do you think it will be enough to deliver a great performance?
You know what, I’m in super good shape right now. I stayed in good shape since my last fight. I knew that coming back in the UFC I would find myself in a situation like that – someone gets injured, and I’m the replacement. I’m in really good shape, and I just can’t wait to fight again. Don’t worry, I’ll be at my best.
Can you talk about your fights after getting released by the UFC? For example, the incident with Todd Brown at Ringside MMA weigh-in, and your trip to Brazil?
I’m not proud of what I did, but I don’t regret anything. He went a bit too far, so things just went out of control from there. We fought, and then had a beer together after the fight. So we are cool now. As for Gustavo Machado, that was a very good experience. I went to Brazil to fight a Brazilian, and I did an awesome performance. I knocked him out in first round. I think this fight contributed a lot to me being in the UFC today. I was the only non-Brazilian to get cheers from the crowd.
I saw your tweets about bringing ‘good kickers’ to your camp. What do you think about Cung Le as a fighter, or in other words – how are you planning to beat him?
For sure. I’m bringing some good guys to help me out in training. Cung Le is a good striker, and he’s very agile with his legs. I have to make sure that I fight my fight. You can’t let someone like Cung Le to control the fight. I think the best thing for me is to put a lot of pressure and to be in his face all the time. That’s my plan.
Do you think that an impressive victory over Cung Le could serve as a statement that Patrick Cote is back?
I knew that one day I will be back in the UFC. But I didn’t expect to have a big fight like that. I have a four-fight deal with the UFC, so I want to prove them they were right by bringing me back. I’ll go out there, have a good performance and finish the fight.
You’re 32 years old, with 10 years of professional MMA competition behind your back. Do you feel at the peak of your career?
I think I will reach my peak in 2-3 years. Right now, I don’t feel 32 years old at all. I feel fast, more mature… I fight better now. I’m just smarter about my training. Cung Le is 39 years old, and I think you can fight for a very long time in this business if you take care of your body .
Okay, now I really have to ask you about this one. As someone who fought Anderson Silva, what is your prediction for his fight with Chael Sonnen? Are you on good terms with “The Spider”?
I’m not in good relationship with Anderson Silva, but we’re okay. When we see each other we shake hands, and everything is okay. I think this fight is going to be very different from the first one. I think Anderson Silva is going to win this fight before the end of third round. Chael Sonnen is a grinder, he’s always coming forward, but I don’t think he will be able to surprise Silva twice.
What is your prediction for the fight with Cung Le? Submission, KO or Decision?
To be honest with you, I’m not going there for a decision. If this fight is going to a decision, trust me – we’re both going to be a mess. We are going to stay in front of each other, trust me. First time I hit Cung Le he will know he’s in big trouble.