With Rich Franklin stepping in to fight Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 as a replacement for the injured Vitor Belfort, Cung Le was left without an opponent at UFC 148. That question has apparently been answered with the return of former UFC fighter Patrick Cote. Cote, a former title challenger who faced Anderson Silva back at UFC 90, was cut from the promotion in late 2010. Following that loss to Tom Lawlor at UFC 121, Cote began fighting in other promotions, and has responded nicely by winning four in a row to sit at 17-7 for his career.

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The news comes as a nice surprise for Canadian MMA fans, who have not seen champion Georges St. Pierre fight since April of 2011. Cote has the skills to make a fight with Cung Le an exciting battle, with both combatants known to look for the knockout. Cote has performed well as of late in outside promotions, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to the big stage after losing his last three UFC bouts. Cung Le himself needs to make a statement after being brutally knocked out by Wanderlei Silva last November. The bout was confirmed by Ringside Report host Dave Simon via Twitter.com:

This announcement adds a new dynamic to the undercard of arguably the biggest rematch in MMA history, Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva II. How will Cote fair against the Sanshou skills of Cung Le?

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Further Reading: Rich Franklin will replace Vitor Belfort versus Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147

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