On Saturday July 5, Patrick Cote will enter the cage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will stare down one of his toughest opponents to date, Ricardo Almeida.
The Quebec native is starting to make his presence known in the UFC middleweight division. However, Cote is not taking his opponent, Almeida lightly.
"This guy is no joke. I respect him a lot, but this is my time now and I'll do what I have to do to win this fight," Cote told MMAMania.com. "I'm so confident right now."
The fight will see a stand-up fighter in Cote against a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or ground) fighter in Ricardo Almeida. Cote has confidence in his stand-up and believes he can keep the fight up.
"I train with the national wrestling team here. Some guy who's going to the next Olympic games and I both do very well," Cote said. "But if the fight go on the ground I'll fight, I'm not scared to go on the ground, it's not a BJJ fight, it's MMA battle."
A win over Almeida gives Cote a clear road to a middleweight title shot.
"We'll see how I'll beat him," Cote said in reference to Almeida and the title picture. "But I don't think about that. It's all about Almeida now."
Cote's last fight went well. "The Predator" scored first round technical knockout victory over Drew McFedries. Cote was slated again to fight at UFC 83 against Alan Belcher, but bowed out because of a knee injury after it was reported that he slipped on some ice.
"My knee is 100 percent. Don't worry I'll sprawl on him like if I had bionic knees," Cote jokes.
With no injuries during training, Cote says that training has been perfect and that it has been one of his best training camps ever. Cote is eager to get back in the cage to face Almeida.
Cote has had the opportunity to work with such talents as Fabio Holanda at Brazilian Top Team Canada, as well as famed Muay Thai coach Mark DellaGrotte.
"I trust these guys so much and they work very well together," Cote said. "They believe in me so bad than I can't disappoint them."
Cote has a 13-4 career MMA record. He's won four straight fights (three of them in the UFC), since his he lost his last fight, which was against Travis Lutter in the middleweight final at the Ultimate Fighter season four finale.
Cote originally made his UFC debut in 2004 at UFC 50, fighting Tito Ortiz. Cote took the fight on short notice after Guy Mezger had to drop out of the fight. Despite the unanimous decision loss, Cote showed signs of promise by sticking it out with Ortiz.
"I made my name with this fight," Cote said. "You can't refuse a opportunity like that if you have balls."
This Saturday night, we will see if Cote has what it takes to defeat Almeida and take one step closer to a UFC middleweight title shot. This is Cote's greatest opportunity to shine on the Vegas stage.