MONTREAL -- It wasn't the method of victory he would have preferred but Patrick Cote snapped his long losing streak after a series of illegal head strikes by his opponent Alessio Sakara led to a disqualification for the Italian fighter.
The fight was wild for the 86 seconds it lasted. Cote came out extremely aggressively, chasing Sakara down and looking to incite a brawl. He landed a series of hard right hands as well as uppercuts from a clinch, but Sakara turned the tide with a thudding elbow that came against the cage.
Sakara dropped him with another elbow seconds later and as Cote flailed at his legs, Sakara let loose with a series of hammer fists, four or five of which clearly appeared to land behind Cote's head.
Cote crumpled to the mat on the last one, leading ref Dan Miragliotta to step in and call a halt to the action.
About five minutes passed before announcer Bruce Buffer read off the decision, with the largely Canadian crowd at the Bell Centre raining down boos on Sakara. Finally, when Buffer announced a DQ win for Cote, the crowd exploded in applause.
Sakara said through an interpreter that he did not intentionally throw illegal strikes, but apologized and accepted the outcome.
"I was expecting a war with Alessio and that's exactly what he gave me," Cote (18-8) said afterward. "There are rules for a reason."
The win put an end to Cote's four-fight losing streak in the octagon, dating back two tenures and just over four years.