Former UFC middleweight contender Patrick Cote announces drop to welterweight division

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

We know former UFC middleweight number one contender Patrick Cote can hit hard and has the ability to absorb punishment. How will those attributes help him in his quest to be successful at 170 pounds?

Perhaps the cancellation of his Alessio Sakara rematch was the best case scenario.

Now that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight number one contender Patrick Cote is no longer booked to throw hands opposite "Legionarius" (see why here), the Canadian slugger has finally pulled the trigger on a planned drop to the promotion's 170-pound division.

"The Predator" announced the move on MMA Weekly Radio.

"We've been thinking about it since about a year now. I think now it's the time. I was a pretty decent middleweight a couple years ago, but now those guys are really, really big. They're cutting from like 230, 225, and I'm walking around at 205 so I spoke with my coach and my nutritionist and it's doable so we're going to do it. In my mind the target is March 16. If it's not happening there I'll be ready to fight around that, but I'm hoping to fight in Montreal."

Cote (18-8) once battled 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva for the division title; however, a gnarly knee injury put a halt to the action early in the third round. It was pretty much all downhill from there, as the Quebecer would go on to lose his next two fights and get released from ZUFFA.

Four wins on the regional circuit and now he's back.

He stumbled out of the gate against Cung Le during his Octagon return at UFC 148 and was in all kinds of trouble against Sakara before the former Italian boxer was disqualified for illegal blows to the back of the skull. The controversial win; however, was apparently enough to convince him it's time for a change.

How do you think he'll fare as a welterweight?

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