UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is currently receiving heavy criticism for his two most recent performances, but at least he is able to practice his chosen craft in front of an audience.
The same can't be said for Patrick Cote, whose most recent bout was a loss to the current champion at UFC 90 last October. He has been out of action ever since.
That bout was the start of the criticism that Silva has been receiving recently. Much like his UFC 97 bout against Thales Leites in Montreal, Silva didn't go out of his way to overly engage Cote. The bout ended early in the third round -- following two rounds of fan frustration -- when Cote crashed to the ground, his knee having given out midway through a kick. He was unable to continue, handing Silva a TKO victory.
Shortly thereafter, Cote underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus and torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Six months later, he is chomping at the bit to even train, let alone compete.
"I can do conditioning training with my conditioning coach. I can't box. I can't wrestle. I can't do some jiu-jitsu. I can't do fight training yet. But maybe in a month I'll be able to just box," said Cote on MMAWeekly Radio on Monday night. "In a few months, I'll be able to start wrestling and jiu-jitsu. I (currently) do conditioning four or five times a week, that's it."
At his current pace, he is targeting a late summer or early fall return. "If it's not at the end of August, it's the middle of September. My target is UFC 102 or 103."
When he is able to return, Cote doesn't want to work his way back; he wants to jump right back into the deep water at the top of the division.
"I want a big fight right away. I want a top five or top-10 guy. I already say that to the UFC management. They say they are able to do it. They are going to give me a top guy, for sure," he told MMAWeekly.
"My goal is to have another title fight. I'll fight anybody, but I do this sport to be No.1, to be world champion," stated Cote, before adding, "I will run after a title fight again, but even if Anderson Silva is not the champion anymore, I want a rematch with him. Not because I hate the guy, but because I just want to finish this business. I want a real decision on this fight."