Patrick Cote continues to turn back the clock.
Cote recorded his eighth win in 10 appearances, as he outdueled Joe Riggs to a unanimous decision at UFC 186 “Johnson vs. Horiguchi” on Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for Cote (21-9, 8-9 UFC).
Riggs (40-16, 5-6 UFC) had the fight where he wanted it on multiple occasions but could not corral “The Predator” on the canvas. He shifted to Cote’s back in all three rounds, only to see the former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder reverse into more advantageous positions. On top, Cote menaced Riggs with punches, hammerfists and elbows, dodging the crafty “Diesel” submission game.
Davis Armbar Finishes Kaufman
Alexis Davis submitted Sarah Kaufman with a second-round armbar in a women’s undercard tilt at 135 pounds, avenging April 7, 2007 and March 3, 2012 defeats to the former Strikeforce champion. Davis (17-6, 4-1 UFC) brought it to a close 1:52 into round two.
Kaufman (17-3, 1-1 UFC) excelled in the pocket for much of the first five minutes. She fired away with straight punches, held her own in the clinch and steered clear of the vaunted Davis ground game. Round two was following a similar native, until Kaufman made a mistake for which she paid a heavy price. The 29-year-old wandered into clinch range, yielded a takedown and surrendered full mount from Davis, who immediately fished for a topside triangle choke. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt slid to the bottom and transitioned to a belly-down armbar for the finish.
Davis, 30, has won six of her last seven fights.
Unbeaten Laprise Downs Barberena
Tristar Gym’s Chad Laprise kept his perfect professional record intact with a unanimous verdict over Bryan Barberena in a preliminary lightweight duel. Laprise (10-0, 3-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 nods from the judges.
“The Ultimate Fighter Nations” winner set the tone with a productive first round, as he punched and kicked in concert and rattled Barberena (10-3, 1-1 UFC) more than once with concussive blows to the body and head. The MMA Lab rep gained some ground in the middle stanza, where Laprise slowed his pace and allowed him to crawl back into the match. Drawn into a dogfight in round three, Laprise rose to the occasion. He got himself back and and did just enough on the feet -- sneaky right hands and a series of spinning techniques were his weapons of choice -- to keep Barberena at bay.
The defeated halted a run of seven straight wins for the 25-year-old Barberena.
Aubin-Mercier Choke Submits Michaud
“The Ultimate Fighter Nations” finalist Olivier Aubin-Mercier submitted David Michaud with a third-round rear-naked choke in an undercard battle at 155 pounds. Michaud (8-2, 1-2 UFC) conceded defeat 3:24 into round three.
Aubin-Mercier (6-1, 2-1 UFC) wore down the MMA Lab product with his grappling. The 26-year-old employed a patient grind and won the scrambles, moving to his adversary’s back in the first and third rounds. Aubin-Mercier answered a second-round knockdown with one of his own, as he doubled over Michaud with a kick to the solar-plexus and swarmed with punches to finish. The South Dakotan survived but only prolonged the inevitable.
In the third round, Aubin-Mercier scrambled to his back again, dragged him to the ground, slapped on a body triangle and went hunting for the stoppage. Soon after, a palm-to-palm rear-naked choke was in place, and Michaud had no choice but to tap out.
Surging Taleb Dominates Clements
Takedowns, ground-and-pound and stifling forward pressure carried Tristar Gym’s Nordine Taleb to a one-sided unanimous decision against Chris Clements in a preliminary welterweight affair. All three cageside judges saw it 30-27 for Taleb (11-2, 3-0 UFC), who has quietly rattled off 10 victories in his last 11 appearances.
A replacement for the injured Claudio Henrique da Silva, Clements (12-6, 2-2 UFC) never looked comfortable. Taleb struck for takedowns in all three rounds and controlled the Shawn Tompkins protégé with a suffocating top game. Clements was reduced to winging desperate power punches late in the match, though his bid for a Hail-Mary knockout went unrealized. Taleb iced the win with another takedown in the final minute, opening a cut near his opponent’s right eye with a well-placed elbow strike.
Letourneau Spoils Rakoczy Return
American Top Team representative Valerie Letourneau won for the sixth time in seven outings, as she took a unanimous verdict from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 finalist Jessica Rakoczy in a women’s undercard scrap at 115 pounds. Letourneau (7-3, 2-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 marks.
Following a contentious first round that featured a series of momentum shifts, Letourneau made her move. The 31-year-old Canadian attacked on multiple fronts, mixing punches, kicks and standing elbows to bring about the desired outcome. Her work left Rakoczy (1-5, 0-2 UFC) -- who had not fought since November 2013 -- with a bloody nose and significant damage to her right eye. Letourneau put the exclamation point on her performance in the final 10 seconds of round three, where she delivered a takedown into full mount and closed the door on her fellow Canadian.
Markos Snaps Daly Streak
Strong bookend rounds carried Michigan Top Team’s Randa Markos to a unanimous decision over Aisling Daly in a preliminary women’s strawweight clash. All three cageside judges scored it for Markos (5-2, 1-1 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
Markos was at her best in the first and third rounds, where she peppered her counterpart with quick right hands on the feet and threatened her with an arm-triangle choke on the ground. Daly (15-6, 1-1 UFC) had the tiring Iraqi-born Canadian in significant trouble in round two, as she countered a takedown into top position, opened a cut above Markos’ left eye with an elbow strike and hit a standing rear-naked choke in the closing seconds.
Undeterred, Markos re-established herself in the third round. There, she executed a head-and-arm throw, pinned the SBG Ireland export to the canvas and dropped right hands from above, piling up points as she bled the clock. Daly spent the waning moments of the match defending against an armbar, losing her grasp on a two-fight winning streak.