The 10 Most Unexpected Short-Notice Fights In UFC History

The matchmaking for this past weekend’s UFC 223 headliner had more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster. However, it’s far from the only time in the promotion’s history that the UFC’s matchmakers have been left scrambling at the last minute to find short-notice replacements. In this article, we’ll look back at 10 classic examples […]

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The matchmaking for this past weekend’s UFC 223 headliner had more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster.

However, it’s far from the only time in the promotion’s history that the UFC’s matchmakers have been left scrambling at the last minute to find short-notice replacements.

In this article, we’ll look back at 10 classic examples of new opponents unexpectedly materializing out-of-the-blue in the final days before a big event to ensure that the show could still go on.

Fred Ettish vs. Johnny Rhodes

You have to dig deep into the history books to find out the shortest-notice fight ever in UFC history.

The night before UFC 2 in March of 1994, alternate fighter Fred Ettish was informed that he wouldn’t be fighting on the show, but he was invited to help out behind-the-scenes to make sure that the other fighters had everything they needed and were ready to fight on time.

On the night, Ettish was working backstage when one of the UFC’s head honchos Rorion Gracie urgently approached and asked if he could step in at the last minute to replace Freek Hamaker, who had just injured his hand during his opening round victory in the tournament.

Ettish estimates he had as little as 10-20 minutes to prepare, in which time he had to gather his gear, cornermen and do the briefest of warm-ups, before heading out to fight his opponent, Johnny Rhodes.

Unfortunately for Ettish, his bravery that night didn’t pay off as a disappointing performance against Rhodes led to a first-round submission loss, while he then cruelly became something of a laughing stock among MMA fans at the time, though these days he’s become more fondly remembered and respected.

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Patrick Cote Doesn’t Believe Georges St-Pierre Fights at Middleweight Anymore

Patrick Cote rose to the ranks of top contender in the UFC’s middleweight division. So when “The Predator” watches and sees his fellow French Canadian, Georges St-Pierre, compete at 185 pounds, he isn’t sure there is a future th…

Patrick Cote rose to the ranks of top contender in the UFC’s middleweight division. So when “The Predator” watches and sees his fellow French Canadian, Georges St-Pierre, compete at 185 pounds, he isn’t sure there is a future there for the current UFC titleholder. St-Pierre returned from a four-year hiatus to defeat Michael Bisping earlier […]

GSP’s Former Training Partner Thinks He May Retire Already

French Canadian mixed martial artists Patrick Cote and Georges St-Pierre have known each other for a long time, having fought in the same regional promotion before both signing with the UFC last decade. So it’s fair to say that Cote knows GSP better than any other fighter on the roster, and Cote believes the former […]

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French Canadian mixed martial artists Patrick Cote and Georges St-Pierre have known each other for a long time, having fought in the same regional promotion before both signing with the UFC last decade.

So it’s fair to say that Cote knows GSP better than any other fighter on the roster, and Cote believes the former welterweight and current middleweight champion won’t be fighting for much longer, even with the strap around his waist.

Cote expressed his doubts during a recent interview on The MMA Hour:

“I have big doubts. I don’t have any inside info and we are not close as we used to be, but what he said about that hard thing to gain weight.”

“I don’t want to take anything away from Bisping, I like this guy, he’s a worker, amazing fighter and he had a great opportunity to be champion, but Georges against Whittaker, big guys like Romero, I don’t know. Georges is super athlete but he doesn’t have anything to prove against those big guys. I don’t think he’ll fight at 185 anymore.”

Saint Pierre had dominated the welterweight division before retiring after UFC 167. He returned four years later to take on middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who he defeated by submission at UFC 217.

Now ruling over the 185-pound division, Cote says GSP has many options outside of fighting. Cote himself retired after a loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 210.

“For sure, I would not be surprised if he said, ‘It’s over, I just wanted to feel that feeling again.’ Why I say that is because is took him so much time to get out of the cage. He stayed in the cage and he was kind of feeling everything he was able to grab about all the emotion.”

“He was in the cage for almost 20 minutes after the fight, He was looking at everything and grabbing all the energy just to say ‘That was that, I did it and I am not going to miss that anymore.’ This is the feeling I had when I was at MSG. But no, I will not be surprised if he is done with fighting.”

Do you think GSP will be fighting for much longer?

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Fallout: UFC 210 AKA Retirements And Frustration

Well, who the hell saw that coming? In one of the more baffling performances I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson decided to implement an interesting game plan in his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 210. Directly after losing in the exact same sequence of movements, Johnson did the unexpected and retired from the sport at the height of his powers. And he wasn’t the only fighter to call it a career. Let’s delve into the fallout of UFC 210.

The post Fallout: UFC 210 AKA Retirements And Frustration appeared first on Cagepotato.

Well, who the hell saw that coming? In one of the more baffling performances I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson decided to implement an interesting game plan in his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 210. Directly after losing in the exact same sequence of movements, Johnson did the unexpected and retired from the sport at the height of his powers. And he wasn’t the only fighter to call it a career. Let’s delve into the fallout of UFC 210.

Patrick Cote decided to retire after giving a decent showing against Thiago Alves. Rather than focus on the performance itself, I thought I’d speak on what I believe Cote has left behind in his wake. Patrick Cote was one of those warriors from a bygone era where boxing and takedown defense made you an elite competitor. Along with Georges St-Pierre, David Loiseau and a handful of others, Cote put Canada on the map. Cote not only evolved with the sport when it was necessary, he proved himself to be a tough out even at the very end. While he may not get the kind of send off other more successful fighters will receive, I’m here to say that Patrick Cote was certainly one of the most entertaining fighters out there that always put on a show and put it on the line. Damn it, now I’m getting all misty.

Back to the violence…

The most entertaining fight on the main card was swiftly followed by the most disappointing. Pearl Gonzalez battled Cynthia Calvillo in a pretty entertaining scrap. Calvillo opened strong with a ton of offense, though Gonzalez did show some good defense with an interesting opened handed right shield which prevented some significant damage on the feet. Once the fight hit the ground however, Calvillo showed once again why she’s such a problem in the grappling arena. A rear naked choke would eventually materialize in the third round. Calvillo is now has two victories in as many appearances and for whatever reason people are already wanting to match her up with strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. No. Just, no. While Calvillo is certainly talented, she has a ways to go before she’s ready for the champ. Angela Hill should be a nice challenge to see exactly where she’s at.

Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi had a pretty entertaining match. That is until the middle of the second frame which saw Mousasi land a knee to Weidman’s head that was potentially illegal. The match would eventually end with Mousasi getting his hand raised but with no real definitive winner. Weidman’s approach of footwork, kicks, and feints masked his takedowns rather well (something I’ll definitely touch upon in another article). Mousasi was effective in the second round rattling off hand combinations that hurt the former champion. A rematch would be the fair thing to do, but during this new era of MMA it’s all about what sells, not necessarily what makes sense.

Last, but not least, Anthony Johnson decided that he’d rather wrestle with the superior wrestler rather than keep the fight at striking distance as he faced off against Daniel Cormier. It was an interesting approach that perhaps could have worked had he used the strategy to through off Cormier throughout the round. Instead, ‘Rumble’ stuck to his guns and kept being fought off. He did land some heat towards the end of the first frame which broke the champ’s nose. It was in the second frame that we saw Johnson wilt as he was taken down by the same single leg-inside trip that he succumbed to the first time he face Cormier. From there it was all de ja vu as Cormier secured the back and sunk in the rear naked choke.

Despite the performance, Anthony Johnson was still able to retire with a level of eloquence and dignity. His retirement was far more surprising than Patrick Cote’s own, especially when you consider that Johnson is still in his prime. Many are trying to suggest that we haven’t seen the last of Anthony Johnson, but in reality I hope it is. A fighter knows when they’re done and if ‘Rumble’ lacks the motivation then what’s the point of getting in their and potentially injuring himself. If his head isn’t in the game then he’s just putting himself in danger. Yeah, he puts himself in danger for a living, but it’s a whole different ball game when you just don’t want to be there anymore.

For my part, I’m thanking Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson for the memories. As far as competition goes, he will be missed.

Do you think Anthony Johnson should have retired?


Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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Thiago Alves Retires Patrick Cote Inside KeyBank Center

Thiago Alves (22-11) turned back the clock with a solid performance against Patrick Cote (23-11). The second bout on the main card of UFC 210 featured a welterweight tilt. Former title challengers Alves and Cote went one-on-one inside the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. Cote went for a leg kick, but got hit with a

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Thiago Alves (22-11) turned back the clock with a solid performance against Patrick Cote (23-11).

The second bout on the main card of UFC 210 featured a welterweight tilt. Former title challengers Alves and Cote went one-on-one inside the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY.

Cote went for a leg kick, but got hit with a punch. Alves had his own leg kick. Cote was clipped with a knee to the head. “The Predator” got in a right hand. Cote had his kick caught and got hit with a left hook that dropped him. Alves landed some elbows and hammerfists as the round ended.

“The Predator” moved forward early in the second stanza. A short elbow landed for Alves. The “Pitbull” connected with a leg kick followed by a right hand. Cote landed a right hand. A high kick from Alves was blocked. Cote fell to his knees from a huge shot. “The Predator” got back up and the two met at the center of the Octagon. The round ended about 30 seconds later.

Time was called quickly for an inadvertent low blow from Alves. The action resumed shortly after. Cote landed a body shot followed by a punch upstairs. He went for a takedown, but Alves stuffed it. The “Pitbull” ended up securing a takedown. The two men returned standing. Cote threw some uppercuts and played a bit to the crowd. Alves landed a flying knee before the final horn sounded.

When the score totals were read, all three judges gave the nod to Alves. After the fight, Cote put his gloves on the canvas and announced his retirement.

Final Result: Thiago Alves def. Patrick Cote via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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UFC Welterweight Patrick Cote on Being a Mentor and ‘The French Joe Rogan’

The elder statesman label looks pretty natural on the lapel of Patrick Cote. 
He’s 37 years old. He’s been a professional MMA fighter since 2002. He once fought Anderson Silva for the middleweight title (but let’s not speak of tha…

The elder statesman label looks pretty natural on the lapel of Patrick Cote. 

He’s 37 years old. He’s been a professional MMA fighter since 2002. He once fought Anderson Silva for the middleweight title (but let’s not speak of that again). He has a 23-10 pro record. He has some mileage on him.

Pump the brakes, though, on another “old guy still has gas in the tank” story. Cote knows he’s old. But is it possible that he may be using that age to his advantage? 

Who has ever heard of such a thing? I don’t know, but Cote calls it “experience,” and he’s cashing in on that, almost quite literally, as his pro MMA career rolls on. Saturday, he faces fellow welterweight Thiago Alves on the main card of UFC 210.

Like most of the fighters with the unusual quality of UFC longevity, Cote, who entered the UFC in 2004 on a short-notice bout with Tito Ortiz, has taken certain steps to lengthen his career. In Cote’s case, those steps—entertaining aggression and personal care-taking—have been at odds.

So how does he balance them? There are several ways.

“I don’t need to do sparring five times a week,” Cote said in an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report. “I don’t need to receive punches in my head. If I’m not in camp, I don’t receive any punches in my head. If I’m in camp I spar only two times a week. I do technique drills, I do jiu-jitsu. You have to be realistic. You learn from experience. I don’t feel too scared or guilty to take a day off.”

Cote has plenty of advice to offer. That’s actually kind of his thing, it seems.

For instance, he discusses weight cutting, a potentially dangerous and increasingly controversial practice that pervades MMA and other combat sports. Cote estimated he cuts 20-22 pounds for each fight (Cote is a very large welterweight) but also pointed out that he had never missed a mark in his career. And it’s part of why he lacks sympathy for those who do miss weight.

“That’s stupid,” he said of those who struggle to make required weight limits. “Weight cutting is dangerous if you don’t do it well. It’s hard to do it, but there’s a process. I always make it and I feel awesome the day after. But I’m working with professionals who know what they’re doing. I don’t know how you don’t know what you’re doing at this level. It’s part of your job.”

Cote, who said he is taking it one fight at a time career-wise, has plenty of other irons in the fire. Plenty of UFC fans north of the border know him as the French-language color commentator for Canadian broadcasts. 

“I’m like a French Joe Rogan,” Cote said. “We do every UFC fight. I think it’s helping me a lot as a fighter because I see a lot of different situations.”

There’s that experience theme again. Cote is outspoken about an athlete’s need to prepare for life after competition. He’s definitely trying to lead by example. He has a real estate company and works as a mentor with Canadian Olympic athletes and the Canadian Army. Contrary to what you might assume, though, there’s no direct combat angle in either case.

“I mentor new athletes on how to sell themselves,” Cote explained. “They are thinking they are invincible. Sometimes a big injury can happen, or a bad performance. You don’t want to think about it, but you have to. Sometimes we have no organization to back us, no pension. One day [retirement] is going to happen.”

The 33-year-old Alves (21-11) has plenty of time under his own belt, but not as much as Cote. Cote seems to believe that—plus a more well-rounded skill set—will win him the day. Either way, though, he still seems to have his ducks in a row.

“We’re both veterans,” Cote said of himself and Alves. “I don’t think he’ll bring anything that will surprise me. His striking is excellent, he has heavy leg kicks. But at the end of the day, I’m the better fighter. I’m the better wrestler, I’m the better boxer, I have the better fight IQ. I’m going to meet him in the middle of the Octagon. …I’m 500 percent confident I’m gonna win that fight. …If it gets to the ground, it’s not getting back up. He’s going to be a little bit panicky. …But now I’m not fighting because I need to fight. I’m fighting because I want to fight. And that’s awesome.”

All quotes obtained firsthand. 


Scott Harris covers MMA for Bleacher Report. For more, follow Scott on Twitter

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