UFC 186 preview: Patrick Cote vs. Joe Riggs

Patrick CoteUFC 186 goes down this weekend at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and I’m back to take a look at a few of the fights on the card to give you an idea what to expect in some of the matchups.  First up, we’re going to have a look at what should be a fun fight between two members of the “old guard” of the UFC, Patrick Cote (20-9) vs. Joe Riggs (40-15, 1 No Contest).

This should be a fun fight for the fans.  I say “old guard” of the UFC, because if this fight were happening nine or ten years ago, we could be talking about one of the two potentially moving up the ladder for a title shot, but as it stands, this is simply a good fight between two guys who come to fight.

Cote has fought for the UFC off and on for ten years now.  Although he was mostly known for being a training partner of former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, Cote has fought a number of big names across multiple weight classes.  Since returning to the UFC in 2012, he’s 3-2, dropping decision losses to Cung Le and Stephen Thompson while picking up wins over Kyle Noke, Bobby Voelker, and Alessio Sakara (though, to be fair, the win over Sakara came via DQ).

Joe Riggs is another guy who has fought a number of big name fighters across multiple weight classes for multiple promotions.  He’s perhaps most well-known for his decision win over Nick Diaz at UF 57, a fight that continued at the hospital where Riggs and Diaz had to be separated by police.  Riggs returned to the UFC in December 2014, where he lost to Ben Saunders via TKO due to a neck injury.

Both guys come into the fight with KO power, and while Riggs can have a weakness for getting submitted, it’s not likely that Cote will work for many, if any, submissions.  The oddsmakers have Cote coming into the fight as a strong favorite at -360 while Riggs is a decided underdog at +340.  Cote will have the “hometown” advantage fighting in Canada, but Riggs is no stranger to the big stage and won’t be phased by the endless stream of boos.

Cote is a tough fighter and has gone the distance with some big names.  He’s been submitted three times as a professional and only knocked out once.  Riggs typically wins decisions when the fight goes the distance, only having lost two decisions, but he has been submitted seven times and T/KO’d six times.

Look for only a brief feeling out period between these two veterans.  Riggs will emerge as the aggressor and look for Cote to meet him in the middle of the cage for some intense exchanges.  Cote should emerge on top through these exchanges, and I wouldn’t bet against Riggs’s neck injury making a comeback as it’s something that has bothered him for a few years.  Riggs may score a takedown or two, but Cote will continually get the better of the exchanges and may be able to put Riggs down with a well-timed counterpunch.