The welterweights brought a combined 40 fights into the Octagon at Key Bank Center. Alves has been around since UFC Fight Night 2; Cote debuted in the company at UFC 50.
But just because Cote knew that Alves was going to bring his trademark kickboxing game with him, that doesn’t mean he could stop it.
Alves simply did a better job imposing his game plan at UFC 210, which was enough to earn the decision. The judges’ scores were 30-27 across the board.
After the bout, Cote announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
“I knew, win or lose that will be my last fight,” the classy Quebec City native said. “Thank you fans, it’s been an amazing 15 years.”
The opening round got off to a methodical pace, as Cote tried to stalk Alves. But Alves managed to land with a mix of combos to the head and low kicks. A crisp Alves left hook which landed flush dropped Cote to the mat, and while Alves poured it on, Cote hung on until the horn.
Cote seemed to be doing a better job of implementing his pressure-based game plan in the second, but Alves’ kicks kept him honest, and Alves again dropped with a late knockdown.
Cote came out fired up in the third, landing punches early to the body and head. But Alves sprawled a takedown attempt, and in the ensuing clinch, scored a trip. From there, Alves opened up Cote with ground-and-pound offense. Cote made one last run at it at the round’s end, but Alves put a stop to that with a late flying knee.
With the win, the American Top Team competitor improved to 22-11 (14-8 in the UFC), and snapped a two-fight losing streak. Cote retires with a record of 23-11.