Former French-Canadian UFC middleweight title contender Patrick Cote will be back in the octagon by August or September.
Cote confirmed his status with The Fight Network on Saturday.
According to Cote, he has already begun preliminary conditioning training for his UFC return.
“I will be back in the gym fully training in three weeks or so,” said Cote, who underwent knee surgery for a torn meniscus in November.
A 29-year-old product of Brazilian Top Team Canada, Cote injured his knee in a bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 90 in October.
Cote was the first man in Silva’s UFC career to go more than two rounds with the middleweight champion. The bout was halted when Cote landed awkwardly and fell to the ground, prompting the referee to stop the fight 39 seconds into the third frame.
Before challenging Silva for the 185-pound title, Cote racked up wins against Scott Smith, Jason Day, Kendall Grove, Drew McFedries and Ricardo Almeida.
The former middleweight champion of the now-defunct Canadian TKO organization has his sights set on Silva’s title. He says he wants to face the cream of the crop in the middleweight division upon his return.
“I want to fight someone in the top-five or top-10,” said Cote, who spoke enthusiastically about his prospective return to the promotion.
“I want Alan Belcher or the winner of Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva,” he said.
Another possible opponent mentioned by Cote is not under contract with the UFC.
“I would love to fight Vitor Belfort if he came to the UFC,” said Cote.
Belfort is coming off a sensational first-round knockout of world-renowned wrestler Matt Lindland at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” on January 24. There are currently no plans to bring him into the UFC middleweight fold.
Cote, who is 14-5 in his professional MMA career, has been keeping busy since his injury.
On February 27, Cote was the color commentator alongside Mauro Ranallo, former voice of PRIDE Fighting Championships, for the Canadian-based “XMMA 7: Inferno” pay-per-view broadcast.
“Who knows? I could have a second career outside of fighting,” said Cote jokingly.
“The Predator” is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout splitting time training at BTT Canada in Montreal under BJJ instructor Fabio Holanda and Team Sityodtong in Boston under muay thai coach Mark DellaGrotte.