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Patrick Cote headed back to the UFC as replacement to face Cung Le

Patrick Cote, a former contender to the UFC‘s middleweight championship, will return to the Octagon to face Cung Le at UFC 148. Cote takes the place of Rich Franklin who agreed to step in for the injured Vitor Belfort and meet Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 a few weeks earlier.

Cote (17-7) lost his last three outings in the UFC starting with a defeat to middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Since then “The Predator” has won four straight including a recent opening round knockout of Gustavo Machado.

Comparably, Le (7-2) dropped his UFC debut to “The Axe Murderer” last year after wowing fans in Strikeforce where he held the middleweight belt.

MMAJunkie confirmed with sources that verbal agreements are in place for the Cote-Le match though nothing official has been announced. Their match-up will serve as a featured fight at the July 7 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena with other notable pairings including Silva-Chael Sonnen and Urijah Faber-Renan Barao.