By Kelsey Mowatt
It may not have been the highlight reel, knockout win he was hoping for, but Patrick Cote did what he had to do in his recent Ringside MMA bout with Kalib Starnes, by working his way to a unanimous decision win. After being taken down by Starnes in the opening round, Cote reportedly rebounded in rounds two and three, and outscored the UFC vet to earn the judge’s nod.
“I lost the first round by my fault,” Cote told FCF. “The strategy was to box with him, to go in and out a lot, but I started the fight with two leg kicks which I wasn’t supposed to do. He took me down, but I was very relaxed and I didn’t panic at all. The second and third rounds I just opened more, boxed him, and I took him down. I passed his guard, elbowed him, did a lot, so I felt pretty good.”
It’s no secret that Cote was in need of a win, as heading into his April 9th bout with Starnes, the noted striker hadn’t won a fight since July, 2008, when he earned a split decision win over Ricardo Almeida. Cote proceeded to spend nearly 20 months on the sidelines after injuring his knee during his UFC 90 bout with UFC champ Anderson Silva, and was cut by the UFC last year, after dropping back-to-back losses to Alan Belcher and Tom Lawlor.
“For sure I wanted to finish the fight,” Cote added. “I tried really hard but I got the win, which was the most important thing, to get back on the winning side.”
Aside from recording his 14th pro win and ending a three fight losing skid, another positive Cote can take away from the fight is that he was able to negate the ground skills of Starnes, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.
“For sure, you know my top game is pretty good,” said Cote, when asked if he was pleased with how he performed against Starnes when the fight was on the mat. “I’m very comfortable and I’m very confident in my top game; I passed his guard, did a lot of good ground-and-pound, so yeah, he was tougher than I thought but I won and it’s a big relief.”
Due to Cote’s extensive accomplishments it didn’t take long for the Quebec fighter to find work in Canada, and having emerged from his bout with Starnes relatively unscathed, one would think that Ringside will look to have him fight again as soon as possible.
“I don’t have any injury, so I’m going back to the gym tomorrow,” said Cote, who signed a two fight deal with Ringside MMA earlier this year. “I’m planning to fight June 4th; that’s the plan right now, so I’m going to talk to my team and management, but that’s what I want. I’m already in shape and healthy, so I want to fight again soon.”
“Not yet,” Cote added, when asked if he’s had any discussions about a possible opponent. “I’m going to talk to my team and we’ll see...I think we’re looking for more of a striker this time who is going to strike with me on my feet and put on a good show for the crowd. No matter what happens I’ll fight whoever they give me; I’ve never chosen my opponent in my life and that’s not going to start soon.”
Since exiting from the UFC, Cote has always been adamant about his desire is to return to the organization where he once was a title contender. While this latest victory is certainly a step in the right direction to that end, Cote understands there’s still more work to do.
“Nobody has called me,” said Cote, who continues to work with the UFC as a commentator for the promotion’s French broadcasts. “You know I knew it. This is in my hands; I just have to continue to win and it’s going to happen soon.”