Predator eyes UFC return

VINCENT MAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

TIMMINS, Ont. -- The Predator is back in the title hunt.

Having been sidelined with a knee injury since October, UFC middleweight Patrick Cote has returned to a full regimen of training with the hopes of getting back into the Octagon this fall.

"I've done a lot of physio and conditioning to put the strength back in my knee," Cote said.

"Right now, it's good. I didn't sign anything, but my target is to fight at UFC 104 on Oct. 24. My doctor told me for sure, it's the best date I can fight. I can't wait to be back. That will be one year from when I last fought, so I'll be hungry."

The native of Rimouski, Que., was in Timmins Saturday to sign autographs and is sporting a brace over his right knee, but he moved without any signs of a limp or hobble.

The injury that put him on the shelf was sustained at UFC 90 Oct. 25, 2008. In the biggest fight of his career, he went toe to toe against Anderson (The Spider) Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Cote earned a title shot with four consecutive victories, including a knockout of Kendall Grove.

The Predator lived up to his name by attacking Silva, but before he could complete what he had set out to do, things took a turn for the worse.

"I kicked him to the body in the middle of the second round and my leg went too far," Cote said. "In the end of that round, I dislocated my knee twice. I was able to cover, but I knew I was done.

"I tried to go in and work my wrestling, but when I put all my weight on my leg, everything collapsed. It was bad."

Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight when Cote fell to the mat and could not continue in the third round. The fighter would later learn he tore his ACL and meniscus, which prompted surgery.

The pain he felt in his knee, however, did not match that of his pride.

"Losing like that was more painful than the knee, actually," Cote said. "I prefer someone knock me out cold or something like that happening, but it was just bad luck."


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