We swear this will be our last Patrick Cote-related article for at least a few days, you guys. But being that “The Predator” recently announced his drop to the welterweight division following the cancellation of his rematch with Alessio Sakara and declared that he was still hoping to still fight at UFC 158, we figured we would at least write a follow up now that an opponent has in fact been named. Yes, Cote will be fighting on the Montreal card in his welterweight debut against Bobby “Vicious” Voelker, a five-fight Strikeforce Challengers veteran who boasts an impressive 24-8 record to his credit.
Known for his trio of highly entertaining bouts with Roger Bowling under the Strikeforce: Challengers banner, the 33 year-old Kansas City native has developed a reputation as a comeback specialist, so check out some of his handiwork after the jump.
Voelker vs. Roger Bowling I
From the opening moments in what would become the very first — and presumably last (sad face) — trilogy in Challengers history, Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling showed up and threw down. Following a successful debut victory over Erik Apple via second round TKO at Challengers 5, Voelker was shut down by the powerful hands and aggressive wrestling output of Bowling, who managed to rock Voelker on multiple occasions and keep him off balance for the majority of their fight at Challengers 8. Unfortunately, the fight would come to an anticlimactic end in the third when, following an accidental poke to the eye by Voelker, Bowling was unable to continue and handed the technical decision victory.
But before they would meet again, Voelker would square off against Corey Devela, a.k.a the man who nearly broke Joe Rigg’s back with a Harai Goshi.
Voelker vs. Cory Devela
At the very next Challengers event, Voelker and Devela engaged in a grinder of a match that again saw Voelker overwehlmed by his opponent’s grappling in the early going. However, Voelker was able to turn the tide midway through the fight, and with a little help from his superior gas tank, was able to snag a controversial split decision victory when all was said and done.
Voelker vs. Bowling: Part Deux
Voelker was again paired up against Bowling at Challengers 11 — this time in the main event of the evening – and where Bowling’s wrestling and power shots dictated the first fight, it was Voelker’s improved takedown defense and crisp counter-striking that dictated the second. After wading through damn near everything his faster foe had to offer in the first round, Voelker capitalized on a sloppy takedown attempt by Bowling midway through the second and pounded away from the guard until referee Dan Stell called a stop to the fight with just over a minute remaining.
Voelker vs. Bowling III
July 22nd, 2011 would set the stage for the final and most decisive meeting between Voelker and Bowling yet. The event was Challengers 11, with the duo once again finding themselves in the main event slot. The fight started out in relatively the same fashion as the first two, with Bowling utilizing his speed and diverse striking attack to keep Voelker on the defensive.
As noted by lyrical wordsmith Mauro Ranallo, deja vu would rear its ugly head when an errant finger by Voelker would find the very same eye of Bowling that led to the stoppage of the first fight. Thankfully, Bowling was able to continue and even managed to rock Voelker towards the end of the first. But once again, Voelker would come alive midway through the second, delivering a knee to the jaw of Bowling that put him on queer street. The opening would be all that Voelker would need, as he finished off the trilogy with a series of follow up punches shortly thereafter.
So, Potato Nation, now that you’ve seen what Voelker has to offer, do you think Cote’s poor run of luck in the UFC will continue at UFC 158? Or will Cote’s size advantage and high level experience lead him to victory?