Sonntag, 3. Juni 2012

Patrick Cote returns to UFC, steps in to face Cung Le at UFC 148

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

The injury to Vitor Belfort set off a shift in bouts that has opened the door for Patrick Cote to return to the UFC, as he'll step in to face Cung Le at UFC 148, according to a report from

Le was left without an opponent when Rich Franklin was moved up yesterday into the bout with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 in Brazil. Silva was set to face Belfort prior to the hand injury.

Cote hasn't appeared in the UFC since suffering two losses in 2010. Those compounded on a loss to Anderson Silva in a title fight in 2008, a fight in which he blew out his knee, which kept him out for a year and a half.

Since being released, however, Cote has won four straight fights, including first round TKO wins in his last two bouts.

Le hopes to notch his first UFC win in this bout after being knocked out by Wanderlei Silva last November. He fared well in the first round, but Silva turned things around in the second and stopped him with seconds remaining in the round.

UFC 148 takes place on July 7 from Las Vegas, Nevada, headlined by a UFC Middleweight Championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.

Penick's Analysis: This is a great opportunity for Cote and a chance for a new run in the UFC. He drew Alan Belcher in his first fight back from injury in 2010, and Belcher has emerged as one of the best fighters in the division. Then Tom Lawlor was able to surprise him with a better wrestling game en route to a decision, but he was still trying to get back to full strength after that serious knee injury. He's gotten on track with four straight wins, and if he can come back and defeat Le it will be huge for him. For Le, it's still a very solid fight against a fighter who did challenge for the UFC Middleweight Title. It's not as high of a name as Franklin, but it's still a good fight and a chance for him to stay on this card in July.


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