Patrick Cote tops Kyle Noke in TUF Nations co-main event
APR 16, 2014 9:25p ET
QUEBEC CITY - It had been 13 months between fights for Patrick Cote; even longer for his TUF Finale opponent Kyle Noke, who was getting back in the cage for the first time in nearly 20 months. Both UFC middleweights fought as though they'd finally gotten back the one thing they loved. The friendly rivalry led to ferocious competition.
In the end, the Canadian edged the Australian in a close fight, earning a unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 at the Colisee Pepsi.
The fight's outcome was largely in doubt until the fight's final minutes. Cote likely sealed the victory by delivering the last of his three takedowns with two minutes left, and he was able to largely keep Noke grounded for the rest of the round in capturing the judges' nod.
"Wrestling has always been my weakness and I knew it," he said of the work he put in between trips to the octagon.
Cote got off to a strong first round, taking Noke down two minutes into action and keeping the Australian on his back for the duration, pounding out a 65-16 strike advantage over the course of the frame.
Noke stormed back in the second, catching Cote with a knee to the face and following with a barrage that had Cote in trouble. Cote was able to withstand the barrage but lost the round on two of three scorecards.
The win was the 20th of Cote's pro career, and he's also now 2-0 since moving down to welterweight. It also represented a clean sweep for Team Canada in the TUF Nations competition, as Canadians took the two season prizes in earlier action, with Chad Laprise taking the welterweight competition and Elias Theodoru claiming the middleweight crown.
Noke fell to 20-7-1 with the loss.