Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to Quebec City

Photo: Photo provided by UFC

When not practising his sport, Patrick Côté does colour commentary of fights on TVA Sports channel. While UFC can be brutal, Pat is liked by all.

On April 16, the Pepsi Colisée will feature Quebec City's first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event. Former welterweight champion "GS-P" Georges St-Pierre, named Canada's Favourite Athlete several years running, has made this sport popular in Canada and around the world. The UFC is the largest organization promoting mixed martial arts (MMA) events; MMA is now the fastest growing sport in the world.

In April, Rimouski-born Patrick Côté, 33, who coached Team Canada vs Team Australia in this year's The Ultimate Fighter Nations (TUF Nations) will square off against Aussie coach Kyle Noke in the co-main event. The April 16 event will also feature the TUF Nations finalists, as Canada hopes to crown its first-ever Ultimate Fighter winner. The TUF Nations preliminary bouts as seen on television* were filmed near Saint-Sauveur and Lachute over a seven-week span.

The likeable and mild-mannered Côté provides French colour commentary of UFC events on TVA Sports. He was a corporal in the Royal 22e Regiment of the Canadian Army for seven years, serving six months in Bosnia, before finding his passion in the UFC. With his background in boxing, Côté quickly learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling to round out his abilities, allowing him to win bouts through technical finesse rather than brute force. This diversity of learned skills, avant-garde nutrition and ground-breaking training methods makes UFC athletes among the best in any sport.

Fighting at 185 lbs in this, his 15th UFC fight, Côté trains and does cardio for five to six hours twice a week. The fight gloves weigh 4 ounces. When asked about the safety of the sport, Pat says "It's safer than people realize. All fighters have extensive medical testing, including brain MRIs before and after each fight. And unlike boxing, where a dazed fighter already with a concussion will be given a standing-eight count and allowed to continue, UFC referees will stop a fight the moment a fighter appears unable to defend himself. This ensures less damage and more long-term safety for the fighters." He ends our conversation with, '"Don't blink!'' meaning anything can happen in these fights.

Côté's walkout (entrance) song varies and he picks it at the last minute. As a long-time UFC fan, I can tell you one thing for sure: the music at UFC events is top notch and guaranteed to have you hop, skip and jump all night long.
As of this date, 12 bouts are scheduled for the April 16 event. The co-main event of the evening features top middleweight contenders Michael Bisping of Britain vs Tim Kennedy of the USA.
The doors of the Colisée will be open at 2:30 p.m.; the first bout starts at 3:30 p.m. The preliminary fights start at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. for the main card.

Tickets for The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale go on sale Friday, February 28, at 10 a.m., through billetech.com and are priced from $40 to $250. More information about the event is available at http://www.ufc.com/event/ufc-fight-night-quebec-city

*Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports in Canada. Fox TV in the U.S.

Editor's Note: QCT journalist Bill Cox's grandson, Patrick Ward, of Calgary, Alberta, is also a UFC fighter, but he will not be competing in Quebec City in April.