Cote stopped Burkman in round three at UFC Fight Night 74, and in his post-fight interview, he called out Lombard. Here’s why the 35 year-old did so (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“A year ago he called me (out) for absolutely nothing,” Cote said. “It was my second fight at welterweight. I don’t know if he didn’t have any fight or he needs money or something like that. He called me for no reason and at the time this fight didn’t make any sense for me, and especially for him. He was top five or top six and he called me and I wasn’t even in top 15.
“I’m getting closer to top 15, maybe I’m going to be there after tonight, we’ll see. But I think now this fight makes sense now. You know what? He’s going to come back in January and I can say tonight I’m ready to accept this challenge for sure.”
Cote-Lombard definitely has the potential to be pretty, pretty entertaining, if it were to go down. But will it get booked? Hard to say.
Lombard is currently sidelined due to a suspension, after testing positive for PEDs earlier this year, and won’t be eligible to return until January. It could depend on whether the UFC has plans to match Lombard up against a top contender or not. Although, as Cote alluded to, he could be moving into the top 15 soon.
Cote has gone 4-1 in his last 5 bouts, and the only man to defeat him during that time is Stephen Thompson, who is ranked #9 at 170.
Lombard decisioned Burkman at UFC 182 in January, but the bout was overturned to a no contest, following his suspension. The powerful Judoka has gone 2-0, with 1 NC, since dropping down from middleweight.