Following UFC Fight Night 81 win, Patrick Cote wants to welcome Nick Diaz back to UFC in August

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Nick Diaz (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Patrick Cote has fought a majority of his MMA career in the UFC, with his first appearance coming all the way back in 2004 when he fought Tito Ortiz at UFC 50. After a win on Sunday night over Ben Saunders, his second straight by TKO, he’s back on the verge of contendership, and he’s looking for a big fight.

In an interview with backstage after the UFC Fight Night 81 win, Cote said he wants to move up the rankings as quick as he can, but there’s also one specific name he’d be interested in facing.

“I’m 35 years old, so I’m not getting younger,” Cote said (transcribed by “I want to move up the rankings as soon as possible, and with two good performances, I want a top-15 [opponent] – or there’s a guy coming back in August, and it’s Nick Diaz.”

Diaz’s return has been cleared by the settlement he reached with the Nevada Athletic Commission. His initial five year suspension for marijuana was reduced to 18 months, and he’s eligible to fight by August 1, and Cote thinks he’s the guy to welcome him back.

“If he wants an opponent in August, it’s good,” Cote said. “I’m going to enjoy my free time and be ready for this guy.”

Penick’s Analysis: Honestly it’s a fight the UFC could potentially sell. It’s not the most interesting fight, and not necessarily one that would pique Diaz’s interest, but it’s the right level of fight for both of them. Cote’s 5-1 since dropping to welterweight, his sole loss coming by decision against Stephen Thompson, who himself could break into the top five next month with a win over Johny Henricks. He’s looked great in two straight stoppage wins, and would be a legitimate opponent for Diaz. I don’t think that’s the route they’ll go, but it’s not a crazy thought on his part. Regardless, with his time in the sport dwindling down, he deserves a chance now to see what kind of run he can put together. If he falls short against a top 15 type guy, he falls short, if not, perhaps the one-time UFC Middleweight Title challenger has got one last resurgent run in him.

[Nick Diaz art by Grant Gould (c)]

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