Five years ago Patrick ‘The Predator’ Coté traded in his Canadian Forces fatigues for logo-sponsored fight trunks.
|Patrick Coté, left, rains leather on Kendall Grove during their fight at UFC 74 last August. Coté won that fight via TKO due to strikes in the first round. (UFC Photo)
But the former corporal with Quebec’s famed Royal 22nd Regiment — the Van Doos — says there isn’t a day that passes that his thoughts aren’t with his military brothers.
“I have friends in Afghanistan and they write me e-mails all the time,” says Coté, just days after two more members of his former regiment died in battle, bringing the Canadian death toll to 73.
“It’s not a good place to be right now and I think about those guys every day. I’m happy they are there for our country but I’m hoping they come home in one piece.”
Coté, an Ultimate Fighting Championship scrapper, spent six months in Bosnia as part of his military experience and says he will carry those scars much longer than any he will endure in the cage.
“I saw a couple of things that I will remember all my life,” says the Quebec City native.
“There were a lot of mines everywhere and I saw a lot of people walk on those mines. I don’t like to talk about those things but they are all in my mind and I use them to keep focused.
“I’m very strong mentally now and I’m sure the military helped me with that.”
Coté will draw on that focus as he prepares to enter the Octagon against one of the heaviest hands in the middleweight division.
He is set to fight Drew McFedries on Jan. 23 in a card that will air free on Spike-TV.
“He’s very explosive for two minutes of the fight and then he gasses,” says Coté of his Pat Miletich-trained opponent.
“He always tries to land the bombs and knock the guy out. Everyone knows I’m ready to take a punch and I’m ready to stand up with anyone in my weight class.”
Coté says he’s a better-rounded fighter than McFedries, which gives him more options once the cage door closes.
“He has heavy hands, but so do I,” he says.
“If I have any problems on my feet I’m just going to take him down and put him to sleep.”
Coté, who is coming off a win over Kendall Grove in August, says he’s set lofty goals for himself.
“I’m going to be champion one day,” he says.
“I believe in my heart that I can do it.”
• Matt Serra has been forced to pull out of his championship fight with Matt Hughes due to injury. Earlier this week, the welterweight champ suffered a herniated disc in his lower back following a routine training session in his Long Island gym. Serra said he is disappointed the fight will be put on hold. Hughes and Serra have had a year-long feud that was to culminate with the Dec. 29 fight.
• Canadian Jonathan ‘The Road Warrior’ Goulet will take on Paul Georgieff as part of The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale card in Vegas. The card will be headlined by lightweights Roger Huerta and Clay Guida.
• Pride heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko will fight in Japan on New Year’s Eve as earlier reported. The latest rumour is he will fight K-1 giant Hong Man Choi who stands 7-foot-2 and weighs 350-lbs.
• With Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture leading the way, seems all fighters are TV stars these days. Forrest Griffin made a guest appearance on Law & Order SVU this week playing a mixed-martial arts fighter suspected of killing a young lady. He lasted 14 minutes before his character was killed off by the girl’s father. Also, Tito Ortiz has finished filming for Celebrity Apprentice. Donald Trump has a gathered a B-list of celebs vying to win money for their favourite charities. Others on the show include Stephen Baldwin, Gene Simmons and former boxing champ Lennox Lewis. Best thing that could happen to the show: A fight breaks out between Ortiz and Lewis and the boxing vs. MMA debate is finally laid to rest. I’m not holding my breath.
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