The resurgence of Quebec’s Patrick Cote continued in UFC 186 prelim action at Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night, as the welterweight veteran outpointed Joe Riggs over three rounds, making it four wins in his last five bouts.
All three judges saw it 29-28.
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Riggs threw a wrench into the mix in the opening minute as he went for a takedown and then took Cote’s back while standing. Eventually the bout strayed to the mat, but it was Cote landing on top, where he landed several hard punches before the two stood. Cote went on to score several takedowns, and he nearly pulled off a kimura, but Riggs was able to make it out of the round.
The stand-up exchanges most expected from this matchup arrived in the second, with Riggs landing some jarring shots but Cote landing more of them. At close range against the fence there wasn’t much action, which wasn’t doing Riggs any favors.
Riggs got a takedown in the opening minute of the third round, and while Cote tried to scramble free, Riggs took his back and worked for a rear naked choke. Cote escaped and reversed position, and as he fired off hard strikes, the tables had turned back in the Canadian’s favor. Riggs got in some hard knees as the fighters stood in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around for “Diesel,” who falls to 40-16 with 1 NC. Cote improves to 22-9.
DAVIS vs. KAUFMAN
The third time was the charm for women’s bantamweight contender Alexis Davis, as she survived a tough first round to submit Sarah Kaufman in the second round of their third meeting.
British Columbia’s Kaufman had defeated Ontario’s Davis in 2007 and 2012.
Kaufman’s striking was sharper than ever, and she quickly marked up Davis’s face with her accurate punches. Davis was able to briefly halt the onslaught in a clinch against the fence, but Kaufman deftly avoided any significant trouble and went back to work at long range, where she was dominating.
The positive pattern remained intact for Kaufman in round two, but with three minutes remaining, Davis threw Kaufman to the mat and tried to lock in a triangle. That didn’t work, but the subsequent armbar did, with Kaufman tapping out at the 1:52 mark.
With the win, the number three ranked Davis moves to 17-6; the number five Kaufman falls to 17-3 with 1 NC.
LAPRISE vs. BARBERENA
Lightweight up and comer Chad Laprise earned his third UFC win and did it in his adopted hometown of Montreal, fighting off a second half charge from Arizona’s Bryan Barberena en route to a three round unanimous decision win.
The judges saw it 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Both fighters were busy to start, but the harder shots were clearly landed by Laprise, whose kicks were clearly on target, especially a spinning back kick midway through the opening round that jarred the Arizonan.
The second was more of the same, allowing Laprise to build on his lead, but Barberena’s forward motion began to tire the Canadian, setting up an interesting third round in which it was a battle against the clock for “Bam Bam,” who brought it for five minutes against Laprise, who found enough of a second wind to keep himself one step ahead to the end of the bout.
Laprise moves to 11-0 with the win; Barberena falls to 10-3.
AUBIN-MERCIER vs. MICHAUD
TUF Nations finalist Olivier Aubin-Mercier picked up an impressive win in his hometown, submitting fellow lightweight prospect David Michaud in the third round.
After some back-and-forth action early on, Aubin-Mercier took his foe down and got his back with a little under two minutes to go. That’s usually game over for the Canadian’s opponents, but Michaud hung tough and made it to the end of the round.
Michaud (8-2) got back on the board midway through the second when he landed a right that produced a flash knockdown. Moments later, Aubin-Mercier evened the score with a body kick, and while the Canadian didn’t finish there, he did regain the upper hand in a competitive round.
Aubin-Mercier (7-1) was relentless with his takedown attempts in the third though, and this time when he took the back, he didn’t let his foe off the hook, sinking in the rear naked choke that produced a tap out at the 3:24 mark.