Patrick Cote has been fighting MMA professionally for just eight years and due to nerves and inexperience he has bounced around from organization to organization for much of that time. He seems to have now conquered those demons as he heads into UFC 86 this weekend against Ricardo Almeida.
“My earlier fights were all about rookie mistakes and bad luck,” Cote told UFC.com. “If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned, it’s that nerves are useless. The fight is going to happen no matter what and being nervous is a waste of time and energy. I put everything in the past behind me. Now I’m focused. I’m collected and my training is really complete. I just have to be smart and plan to put on my best performance ever.”
Cote and Almeida will be the co-main event, and the newly matured Cote does not expect to wilt under the bright lights of the big Octagon stage. He knows that Almeida is a game opponent and he is in for the battle of his career.
“He is no joke,” said Cote of his competitor. “I feel like this will be my biggest career challenge to date. He was at the top of food chain in this division. Four years ago, when he left the sport, he was so close to the title. So this is a big fight for me and I am taking it very seriously.”
Cote has won three consecutive bouts in the UFC, the last two in exciting TKO fashion, which always appeases UFC management. Cote’s game plan is to continue this trend July 5th, especially since he will be facing a ground wizard.
“I can see the fight going three rounds, but I’m pretty sure I’ll put him away in the middle of the second round,” Cote confidently stated. “The plan is to keep it on my feet. It’ll be a real brawl — a war, both physically and mentally.”
“Right now, I just can’t see myself losing,” Cote added. “Look, I’m in the biggest organization in the world. The most important goal is to take things one fight at a time. It’s a big mistake to come up with a big scenario for the long term. I know that with every fight, I’m lucky to be here. All that said, I can only see good things for the future.”
At this pace, Cote hopes to get himself into title contention in the depth deprived Middleweight division shortly.
“I don’t do this to be second,” he explained. “I don’t do it to be famous. I don’t do it for groupies. I push myself harder every day for one thing: to be the champion.”
With focus like that, how can he be denied?