There aren't many people out there who dispute that Anderson Silva is the best fighter on the planet right now. There are ever fewer who are giving Patrick Cote a virgin's chance at a frat house of taking the belt away from "The Spider" tomorrow night at UFC 90.
Pundits have built this up as one of the most lopsided fights since Dave v. Goliath. So much so, that some might say the bout has lost some of its luster. What a lot of those people seem to be forgetting though, is that David beat Goliath. He may have cheated and used a slingshot, which is, of course, banned in the UFC, but nonetheless he won.
One of the few, very few, who seem to remember that underdogs occasionally win is Cote himself.
Now, you'd have to expect any professional athlete to be confident, even if deep in the back of their minds they see it as everyone else does, but it comes off as more than that with Cote. It comes off almost as a cockiness; that he doesn't think he'll win, but that he's certain of it.
Some might want to call him crazy for even hinting that he has a chance. Well, one of the most valuable lessons I've learned is that there's a very fine line between craziness and ballsiness, and I'm afraid I have to say that this one falls just on the side of ballsiness. It wasn't that long ago when a virtually unknown fighter named Patrick Cote stepped up to face Tito Ortiz for his first fight in the UFC. And did I mention he did it on four days notice? And that he bumped up a weight class to do it. Cote went on to lose that fight, but he dropped Ortiz in the first and took the fight through three rounds, announcing to the entire fight community that he would not be pushed around.
Time and again in Cote's career, he has stepped up in the big spotlight. His best fights are when he's challenged, and this next bout promises to be one of his biggest tests.
Now, don't mistake this as a full-out endorsement for Cote as the new Middleweight Champion. All I'm saying is that this fight hasn't been decided yet, and that Patrick Cote does not show up just to show up; he fights to win.