Last night (Weds., April 16, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights Patrick Cote and Kyle Noke faced off in the co-main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" Finale from Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Team Canada head coach Cote enjoyed the confidence of a clean sweep on the show, as "Predator's" students made up all four of the finalists. Noke still had a chance at revenge, but it was his first mixed martial arts (MMA) bout since he finished Charlie Brenneman all the way back at UFC 152 in October 2012.
With his last action being a decision win over Bobby Voelker at UFC 158 in March 2013, Cote hadn't been all that much more active. In the time both coaches spent outside the Octagon, the UFC welterweight division may have become the most talented in all of MMA.
Cote and Noke needed a win to stay afloat. In the end, it was "Predator" who continued Team Canada's dominant run through TUF: "Nations" in his home of Quebec. Let's take a look back at Cote's big win.
Noke came out snapping his kicks, landing a sharp front kick to Cote's body. Cote fought back with some hooks, landing a good right hand over the top. Noke landed a right of his own, pushing the action up against the cage. Noke surrendered a takedown to go for a guillotine, only to see Cote escape to land some big elbows from the guard. Noke sought an ill-fated triangle and ate some more shots as the first round came to a close.
Cote controlled the Octagon to start the second. He couldn't land much, however, and Noke blasted him with a huge knee that had him hurt. Noke followed with a flurry of shots but couldn't put "Predator" away. A bloody Cote recovered but didn't have the same effectiveness as before, appearing sluggish. Losing the stand-up battle, Cote got a takedown and went to work with more elbows. Noke fought back to his feet and was met with some shattering knees to the body.
Cote missed on a single leg takedown to start the third. Noke continued to land his front kicks as the pace slowed considerably. Cote rushed forward for another takedown, but Noke clinched against the cage wall. Cote eventually earned his takedown to open up Noke with another big elbow. Cote smothered his fellow coach until the bell sounded to wrap up the unanimous decision victory.
Cote looked impressive in upholding Team Canada's honor, continuing his trend of defeating mid-level opposition in UFC. He ate a ton of front kicks, but other than that, he showed a good all-around game. His Muay Thai strikes paid big dividends, and his most successful (and surprising) aspect of his game were his difference-making takedowns.
A fight against the returning Brandon Thatch would make for an exciting match-up for Cote.
Noke has some work to do after the loss. He said he had a broken hand after the fight, so that could mean another long layoff. That's something he can't afford in the UFC welterweight division, so let's hope he rebounds quick to face an opponent towards the bottom of the welterweight Top 25.
Patrick Cote won for his country with an all-around dismantling of Kyle Noke. Now possessing three straight victories in the Octagon, what's next for the resurgent "Predator"?