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Cote drops to welterweight, Sakara could go other way

ESPN staff
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Patrick Cote is a former No. 1 contender at middleweight © Getty Images
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Patrick Cote has confirmed he will drop into the UFC welterweight ocean, ending any thoughts of a rematch with Alessio Sakara.

Cote and Sakara had been set to renew acquaintances after their first bout ended in disqualification. However, the Italian has been sidelined by a kidney problem and will not be available for UFC 158 in March.

As a result, Cote plans to start a new chapter in the 170lb division, where he will hope the drop can reignite his career in the same manner that it has Demian Maia.

"I stayed at 185lbs because I wanted a rematch against Sakara, but it was cancelled. The UFC agrees and we're waiting for my next opponent. We hope it happens on March 16 in Montreal," Cote told TVA Sports.ca.

"I'm being attended to by professionals who have told me that [the cut] is possible with a healthy diet."

It is ESPN's understanding, meanwhile, that Sakara will move in the opposite direction to the light-heavyweight division, if he can get the permission of the UFC. Sakara has long struggled with the weight cut at 185lbs and feels he would be much stronger in the higher weight class.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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