Exclusive: Patrick Cote Talks Sports Entertainment vs. Sport, UFC 210

Ahead of this Saturdays' UFC 210, Fightful's "Showdown" Joe Ferraro, spoke to fellow Canadian Patrick Cote, just across the border in Buffalo. Cote talks sports entertainment, UFC 210, Thiago Alves, and his great threads.

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JOE: Alright so, every time I talk to someone, obviously, in Canada, I can't even get the word Patrick Cote out. Because I'm asking for a prediction, who's going to win, [and] it's 'Co-te, Co-te, Co-te, Co-te'... Can you imagine that chant happens here in Buffalo?

COTE: “I hope so. I hope so. Actually the guy who started that is going to be here. It's Matt Serra at TUF 4. That's the guy who [invented] ((he meant invented)) the song. It stuck to me all these years. I hope so. Probably. Because it's across the border, they're going to have a lot of Canadians in the crowd. I hope so, for sure.”

Not many people like to outdress me. I think it's fair to say you outdressed me today. What's with the nice get-up today?

“It's from a company who's sponsored me since a couple years. It's Surmesur in Montreal. It's a custom suit, it's an amazing suit and they treat me very well. So for all my TV spots, all my media work, they provide me some very nice suits. This one is one of my favorites. I think it's like Level 1000 suit.”

I'm looking at your chin, I'm looking at your cheeks, this is a different Patrick Cote than I've seen before at fights. Are you smaller than usual, even though you're fighting at 170?

“Yeah I'm a little bit smaller than usual. I'm maybe 5 pounds lighter than normally when I'm at fight week. It's good. I never miss weight. It's never a fight cutting weight but I never had a very hard time cutting weight. I cut a lot of weight. I cut like 20 pounds, 22 pounds. But if I can make that easier, why not? So it's gonna be an easier weight cut. Mentally, I'm happy.”

You're taking on Thiago Alves Saturday night. What are you expecting from Thiago? Because he's been around just as long as you have. You guys have been around a long time.

“Thiago's a veteran. I respect him very well. I'm expecting him to go forward. He's a fantastic striker. I know that. I think I'm a better fighter, I'm more well-rounded than him. I have better wrestling, better ground game [and] my fighting IQ is better than him, too. I understand more of the game, I think. But you know what? He has his back against the wall, two losses in a row, and I'm for sure he's gonna put pressure, he's gonna try to hurt me on stand-up. And he can, if I let him go. But you know what we are well prepared and we're going for the win, for sure.”

If you had a perfect fight on Saturday night, what would that perfect fight be?

“Perfect fight? Just impose my rhythm, right at the beginning. Put a lot of pressure, back him up a lot, and just show my skills. I know I have good hands, I'm a better boxer than him, I have better power, and just outboxing him for a couple of minutes. For sure, a perfect fight would be a finish in the first round.”

Wanted to get your thoughts on some of the divisions in MMA. The middleweight division, Georges coming back to fight Michael Bisping; he kind of holds up the title. Conor McGregor, he's a two-division champ, now he's a one-division champ, sort of holding up the division; his girl's going to have a baby soon. What do you make of what's happening in the world of mixed martial arts right now, especially at the championship levels?

“Money talks. That's the thing. It is what it is. You can't complain about everything but you have to understand that it's a business of entertaining. So, yeah, you have to understand that. I think everybody's happy that Georges is coming back, except maybe Yoel Romero. But everybody's happy that one of the greatest athletes in the history of MMA is coming back., You can't not be happy about it. At the same time, you see Conor McGregor is doing, like, crazy shit on the side. Jon Jones, doing, like, crazy things too outside the Octagon. It's kind of bad for the image of the sport, I think, but when you pay a company that much money, you want your money back.”

That's the next question—you want your money back. A lot of the conversations that I've had with a lot of the fighters over the past three, four months have said, 'Look, man, this is not just a sport. It is sports entertainment--'

“Yup.”

'—we have to get used to it, stop complaining about it. It's the money fights that are going to get the money fights.' Gerard Mousasi told me that, sometimes, you have to be the bad guy to get that fight but a lot of guys like yourself, and many other fighters, aren't bad guys. Do you feel sometimes you have to put on a different character to get those money fights? Or is it just, you know what, I'm gonna show up and fight, no matter who they put in front of me?

“I think so. Sometimes good trash talk's always good, but you know what, this is your responsibility as a professional athlete to sell yourself. If you're not doing something to sell yourself, to give people, to want to buy fights, to watch your fight, if you don't do that by selling yourself, selling your business, because we are little businesses, we are self-workers, so this is a responsibility that all fighters have.”

One final question … I've asked all the guys, on Saturday night, once your hand's raised in victory, you've gotta have a victory meal. What's Patrick Cote's victory meal in Buffalo?

“I don't know. I've got to try the Buffalo wings. For sure, that's a thing. But I'm gonna enjoy a nice vodka beforehand.”

Fabio Holanda's been with you, probably since day one, if I'm not mistaken?

“Uh, it's 10 years, now. A little bit more than 10 years.”

Who's more annoying, him or you?

“Annoying?”

[With] each other.

“We don't annoy each other.”

Yes you do. Don't get me started.

“We've been traveling around the world together so we know exactly what to do. That's funny because we're just getting in the hotel room, we know exactly which bed we're gonna take, we know exactly where I'm gonna put my stuff, where he's gonna put his stuff, we don't need to talk anymore. We're like an old couple. We're good together.”

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