Patrick Cote (left) won his 170 pound debut. | Jonathan Ferrey/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Former middleweight title contender Patrick Cote had a successful first impression at 170 pounds, but rugged Strikeforce import Bobby Voelker made him earn it.
Backed by his powerful hands and stout chin, Cote captured a unanimous verdict over Voelker at UFC 158 “St. Pierre vs. Diaz” on Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Cote (19-8, 6-8 UFC), who won for the sixth time in seven appearances.
Cote let his fists fly early and often, attacking with ringing uppercuts and body-to-head combinations throughout the first 10 minutes. Voelker (24-9, 0-1 UFC) answered with a strong third round, as he staggered “The Predator” with a left hook, struck for three takedowns and racked up points with effective ground-and-pound.
Elkins Wins Fifth Straight
Duneland Vale Tudo’s Darren Elkins recorded his fifth consecutive victory, as he stopped Shooto veteran Antonio Carvalho with first-round punches in a preliminary featherweight battle. Elkins (16-2, 6-1 UFC) finished it 3:06 into round one.
Carvalho (15-6, 2-2 UFC) countered effectively with left hooks, shut down Elkins in the clinch and denied his takedown attempts. Elkins turned to his hands, as he wobbled the Canadian with a straight right hand on the jaw and leveled him with another. A still-dazed Carvalho rose to his feet, but referee Yves Lavigne called for the stoppage.
Mein Overwhelms Durable Miller
Strikeforce import Jordan Mein stopped former International Fight League champion Dan Miller with a savage volley of first-round punches to the head and body in an undercard tilt at 170 pounds. Miller (14-7, 6-6 UFC), who had never before been finished, succumbed to the blows 4:42 into round one.
Mein (27-8, 1-0 UFC) survived a takedown and armbar attempt roughly one minute into the bout and returned to the comfort of his feet. There, he floored Miller with a right hand and later pinned the AMA Fight Club representative on the cage, unleashing the barrage that brought the match to a decisive end.
The 23-year-old has won nine of his past 10 fights.
Makdessi Outduels ‘TUF 15’ Alum Cruickshank
Effective aggression combined with a stiff jab, some exquisite body work and airtight takedown defense carried John Makdessi to a unanimous decision over Daron Cruickshank in an undercard match at 155 pounds. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for Makdessi (11-2, 4-2 UFC).
Cruickshank (12-3, 2-1 UFC) never got in gear, and the longer the fight went, the more Makdessi’s confidence grew. He blasted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum with jabs, counter punches and combinations, mixing in a vast array of standup techniques. Makdessi, a 27-year-old Tristar Gym export, has won his last two bouts.
Story Smashes UFC Rookie Mulhern
Brave Legion’s Rick Story put away former King of the Cage champion Quinn Mulhern with first-round punches in a preliminary welterweight duel. Story (15-6, 8-4 UFC) sealed the deal 3:05 into round one, as he won for just the second time in five outings.
Mulhern (18-3, 0-1 UFC) was on the defensive from the word go. Story walked through his punches and showed little regard for his abilities. The 28-year-old unleashed a wicked left hook that forced Mulhern to retreat, but he found no sanctuary in the cage. Story pursued him with punches, forced the grappler to the ground and finished the fight there.
Dillashaw Knee Dispatches Tamura
Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw dismissed Shooto veteran Issei Tamura with a second-round knee and follow-up punches in an undercard clash at 135 pounds. Tamura (7-4, 1-2 UFC) met his end 26 seconds into round two.
Dillashaw (7-1, 3-1 UFC) fed the 29-year-old Japanese import a steady diet of takedowns, low kicks and strikes from the clinch over the first five minutes. In the second round, he faked low and went high with a head kick, clobbering the ducking Tamura with a knee. The fallen bantamweight went to his back in a dazed state, and Dillashaw finished it with a series of right hands.
Roop Outpoints Duran, Halts Skid
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 semifinalist George Roop threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak, as he captured a unanimous verdict over Reuben Duran in a preliminary bantamweight affair. All three judges scored it for Roop (13-9-1, 3-5 UFC): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Roop utilized the clinch to great effect throughout the 15-minute scrap, as he softened the Californian with knees and short punches. In close quarters, his 6-foot-1 frame was a significant factor. The Apex MMA representative had Duran (8-5-1, 1-3 UFC) in trouble in the second round, where he transitioned to the back and fished for a rear-naked choke.
Duran became less and less of a factor as the bout deepened. Roop answered a third-round takedown with one of his own and racked up the points with short right hands to the body and head.