Iron-jawed power puncher and former UFC middleweight title challenger “The Predator” Patrick Cote (13-7) has a new promotion to call home, and it’s in his own backyard. After weeks of speculation as to where the Canadian heavy hitter would go next, the word is out and the ink is dry, as Montreal-based promotion Ringside MMA welcomes Cote not only back to the world of mixed martial arts but back to his home turf where he is most dangerous.
Cote’s one-man welcoming party is fellow Canadian and The Ultimate Fighter 3 alum Kalib Starnes (12-4-1) who is probably best remembered for his three round back pedaling fight against “The Rock” Nate Quarry (12-4) at UFC 83, which shortly after led to his release from the promotion. Currently Starnes is on a two fight win streak while Cote is coming off consecutive losses to “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) in 2008, and “The Talent” Alan Belcher (16-6) and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (7-3) in 2010. Cote was on a year-and-a-half long lay-off following his title challenge bout against “The Spider” in August 2008, during which he sustained a knee injury that required surgery and rehab.
Always a serious threat on his feet with his powerful punches, “The Predator” isn’t quite as well versed on the mat, particularly from his back, which plays well into the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Starnes’ skill set. Still, Cote has faced – and beaten – much higher caliber fighters than Starnes, and likely won’t let a mid-tier journeyman stop him from reviving his faded career. Cote looks to use Starnes and Ringside MMA’s middleweight division to parlay back into a successful career with his former home promotion, the UFC, who he hopes to re-sign with by the end of this year.
“The Predator” is a formidable opponent for nearly any fighter in his respective weight class particularly when fueled by the possibility of returning to his former glory with the UFC. But since his knee injury, Cote has struggled with executing a successful gameplan. Will Cote come back strong, KOing Starnes and staking his claim once again in the 185lbs. division? Or will his aspirations of having UFC gold around his waist be stamped out for good? The world will find out April 9.