Adam Wagner is a writer for MMAmania.com. He is in Canada as part of the UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2â€³ Ultimate Fight Train experience. He'll blog about his whirlwind trip throughout the weekend, providing an inside account of what it's like to be in Montreal (and Toronto) when the UFC comes to town for the first time ever. Enjoy.
No time for pleasantries ... just got an interview with UFC middleweight contender, Patrick Cote, before the start of UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2."
Here we go:
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You had to pull out of the UFC 83 fight against Alan Belcher due to a sprained knee, is that correct?
Patrick Cote: Yeah, I slipped on the ice while running outside. (Laughs) It was pretty stupid.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): But you're all healed up now?
Patrick Cote: Oh yes. Everything's good. I take care of my body, and I am 100 percent now.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You next face Ricardo Almeida at UFC 86 on July 5. Almeida has some good jiu-jitsu. How do you feel you measure up and how do you plan to counter his submission attempts?
Patrick Cote: It's a big fight for me. A couple of years ago, I think five years ago, he was supposed to have a title shot before he left. He left because I think he had depression or something like that, I don't know. But he had something. But he came back at UFC 81, and he did a good job.
We wanted a big fight, so this is exactly what we wanted. He's really good on the ground. His wrestling is so-so. And on my feet, I am not scared of anyone when it comes to striking. So this will be a sprawl-n-brawl fight for me.
I moved to Montreal to train six months ago. I train with the national wrestling team here in Montreal.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): So you plan to keep it standing as much as possible.
Patrick Cote: Oh yeah, sprawl-n-brawl. If the fight goes to the ground, I will get back on my feet. And if I'm on top on the ground, I'll throw him a couple of elbows and I'll get back on my feet, for sure. That's my style. I like to stand on my feet and knock out people.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Well you've won your last 3 fights via TKO in the very first round. With Almeida being a tough jiu-jitsu guy, it presents an intriguing matchup. With a solid win, where do you think that that will put you in the title shot picture?
Patrick Cote: Oh, that's what I want. And for sure this will be a clash of styles: classic jiu-jitsu vs. striker. The thing is, with my last three fights—especially with my last two fights—I knocked Drew McFedries and Kendall Grove out in the first round. I think that now, people will know not to get in a stand-up war with me.
First, I have the confidence. I have a lot of confidence in myself. If I knock out my opponent again, maybe they will put me against the champ. The thing I said to everybody, I said to Joe Silva, I said, ‘We know how to beat the Champion. We know exactly how to beat him.' And I'm sure if I have a fight against him, I will beat him for sure.
But one fight at a time. Right now it is Almeida, and I have to worry about him for right now.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Have you been preparing for Almeida differently than you have in previous fights?
Patrick Cote: I'll do a lot of wrestling, and a lot of ground work too. But I'm not going to change my style. My style is on my feet and knocking people out. It's no secret to anybody. It will be a sprawl-n-brawl fight for me, and I don't think he will be able to take me down. My wrestling is improving everyday.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): How many more fights do you have on your contract?
Patrick Cote: Two fights.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): What do you think of the Fight Train, here? Have you had a chance to walk up and down the aisles and talk to the fans?
Patrick Cote: Yeah, I have. I think this is a really really nice idea, the Fight Train. It's crazy. It's pretty good for the fans. Everybody's happy. To put me and Forrest on the train with the fans, we can share our experiences.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): When you were being interviewed for The Score's Hardcore Sports Radio, you mentioned that you will be providing ringside commentary at UFC 83 for the French pay-per-view. Is this a gig that's only for UFC 83 or is this something you plan to do moving forward?
Patrick Cote: That's for all UFC Canada in French. For each UFC event in Canada, I will be the French commentator. That's the plan; however, I only have a contract in place for this show.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about UFC 83: Serra or St. Pierre?
Rich Franklin or Travis Lutter?
Michael Bisping or Charles McCarthy?
Kalib Starnes or Nate Quarry?
Mac Danzig or Mark Bocek?
Patrick Cote: I'm friends with both. I train with Georges. Right now, Georges is ready, he's physically ready. The thing is, we'll see how he will deal with the pressure.
You know, it's a very smart move for Serra to come to Canada. Very smart. He does not have any pressure on his shoulders when he comes to Montreal, the home town of Georges. So I think it is a very very smart move.
On paper, Georges is 10 times better than Matt. The only thing is, I can also see Matt Serra winning this fight the same way he did the first time. Anything can happen: the same thing as the first fight, or else Georges can destroy him very bad.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Well there are also a lot of very good Middleweight matchups at UFC 83. Which do you think—we have Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter; Michael Bisping vs. Charles McCarthy; Kalib Starnes vs. Nate Quarry; and the list goes on—which do you see as being one of the more exciting Middleweight matchups?
Patrick Cote: Probably Nate Quarry and Kalib Starnes, because they look like similar fighters, and I think it will be a good fight.
But I'm looking forward to seeing Travis Lutter and Rich Franklin. I really think that Travis is going to win, and I think he is going to win big time, in the first round. It's not that it will be a big upset, but I think he will do very well against Franklin.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Lastly, would you like to thank any sponsors, and do you have any parting words for your fans?
Patrick Cote: Yes, for everybody who helped put this train on the track, the Fight Train, MMACanada.net—everybody who was behind it—because it is really very nice. All of my sponsors for sure, and the fans. UFC in Canada, it's going to be crazy. It's going to be the biggest event in the history of the UFC. The fans in Montreal are crazy.