Patrick "The Predator" Cote (13-4) has said it for months: he and his camp have the perfect game plan to do what no other fighter has managed to do in eight fights — beat Anderson Silva (22-4).
Hell, if you don’t count the disqualification when Silva illegally up-kicked Yushin Okami’s head into the rafters, it’s even more than eight fights — the guy hasn’t truly lost since December 2004.
But Cote is nothing but confident that Silva’s reign is about to come to an abrupt end.
He’s not worried about the crazy odds. In fact, that takes away the pressure. And he’s inviting Silva to stand and trade, something a host of UFC fighters like former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Chris Leben, James Irvin and more have all had significant trouble with.
All the talk ... and the wait is almost over.
Cote will face "The Spider" for the middleweight strap this Saturday, October 25 at UFC 90. It airs on pay-per-view (PPV) from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., starting at 10 p.m. ET.
When we recently caught up with "The Predator," he shared his thoughts on how his training camp has gone, these crazy Vegas odds and just how strong his chin really is.
Here we go:
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): I last talked to you before your Ricardo Almeida fight at UFC 86. That fight ended in a split decision. How did you feel about your performance in that fight?
Patrick Cote: I think that I did what I had to do. I was sticking to the game plan. For sure when you put two guys together like that who have completely different styles, you can’t expect for a crazy standup war or a crazy jiu-jitsu fight. My style is to stay on my feet and avoid the takedowns, and that’s exactly what I did. I’m not going to play jiu-jitsu with a six-time world champion of jiu-jitsu.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Absolutely. I thought that it was a great performance, and it was clearly enough to earn you the title shot. You face Anderson Silva this Saturday. You’ve talked about fighting Silva for a while now, saying that you feel that you and your camp have the perfect game plan for him. How amped up are you for this fight?
Patrick Cote: I’m in really, really good shape right now — the best shape of my life. I can’t wait to fight him. If they asked me to fight him today, I would do it.
I can’t wait to fight Anderson. I think I’m going to shock a lot of people. A lot of people have a lack of respect toward me, because they have already looked over me. I just want to prove to everybody that I will give him a war, and I will win the belt, and after that everybody will know that they made a mistake (looking past me).
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Speaking of that, I think you can’t talk about this fight without talking about the fact that Vegas has you as a huge underdog.* Do you find that insulting that the oddsmakers don’t seem to have confidence in you, or do you attribute it to simply that Silva has been such a devastating fighter for so many people.
(Note: Betus.com currently has the split at Silva -700, Cote +500.)
Patrick Cote: No, it’s perfect. I don’t care. It’s easier for me to fight — I don’t have any pressure on me.
The biggest difference between me and the opponents who have already fought Silva is that I don’t care if I’m fighting Anderson Silva. I know that this guy is one of the best in the world, but I’m not scared of him. I’m not nervous to fight him.
A lot of fighters who fought him before had already lost before the fight because they were too afraid of him. Me? I don’t care. I’m not going to be nervous or scared to face Anderson. That’s exactly what I’m going to do — I’m going to prepare myself very well.
A lot of people, a lot of my friends, are going to put money on me, and they will be rich after the fight.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): (Laughs) Right on, man. Well let’s talk about Silva. He’s a dangerous striker. If he keeps you at a distance, his kicks can be deadly; however, if you close the distance, his clinch is also so extremely dangerous, as Rich Franklin found out the hard way on two separate occasions.
What do you think about Silva’s standup, and what strategies do you feel will be most successful against thechamp?
Patrick Cote: I feel great. Everybody knows me and everybody knows my style. I’m a striker. I like to stay on my feet and exchange with people who will stand with me. (Silva) said that he’s happy to fight me because I will stay on my feet and exchange with him, so hopefully he’s gonna do it too.
As for striking, I’ve never been rocked in my life, and I’ve never been knocked out in my life. So I go in there very confident.
We know exactly what to do, we have a good game plan. Now I just have to do it. Mark DellaGrotte will be in my corner. As a corner man, he’s already gone three times against Anderson Silva, so he knows him very well.
We know exactly what to do to beat him. Right now, it’s the time for Anderson Silva to lose and I’m the perfect opponent to do it. I ain’t scared of him. I don’t care. I just need one punch to put him away, so we’ll see what happens.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Have you been preparing for this fight differently than you have in previous fights?
Patrick Cote: Oh, for sure. I took 10 weeks for my training camp — two and a half months — I’m in great shape. I have a new conditioning and strength training coach too. I’ve spent a lot of time here at Sityodtong in Boston with Mark DellaGrotte, a good Muay Thai guy here. I’ve been sparring with a couple of guys from Thailand too. My training camp is perfect for this fight. I can’t wait to fight, like I told you. I’m ready to fight tomorrow.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Did the UFC have you sign a contract extension before this fight, and if so, how many fights do you have on the contract?
Patrick Cote: For this fight or before?
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): I was under the impression that you only had one or two fights on your contract remaining.
Patrick Cote: I didn’t sign any contract, but this fight is very important for me to have a good contract after that, and to be the champion and it is going to be easier to negotiate after that. So I’m still on the same contract.
But sure, I fight for the money, I fight because this is my job; but first I want to be #1. I fight to be the best in the world, and to be the best in the world you have to have the belt around your waist, so that’s the most important thing for me right now.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): The last time I talked to you was on The Ultimate Fight Train before UFC 83. You provided the ringside commentary at that event for the French pay-per-view. You had told me before that you were interested in continuing this gig for future UFCs in Canada. Have you discussed with the UFC when they plan to return north of the border, and if you will continue to provide commentary for the next UFC event in Canada?
Patrick Cote: They told me that I did a good job, but no, we haven’t talked about that. If they offered me to do it again, for sure I would do that. I enjoyed it a lot. But I prefer to be in the Octagon than outside it.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Well Patrick, as always it’s a pleasure to talk with you, and I wish you luck against Anderson Silva. I want to give you a chance to thank any sponsors or if you have any parting words for your fans?
For my fans, I will give a good show. For everybody who believes in me, I’m not going to disappoint you. I will be there 100 percent and the UFC will have a new middleweight champion for sure.