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Patrick Cote vs. Cung Le Signed for UFC 148

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Patrick Cote is back for a third run in the UFC, and he'll be immediately thrust into a high-profile UFC 148 matchup against Cung Le.

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed the signing and booking on Thursday morning with a source with knowledge of the situation.

The news was originally reported by MMA Junkie.

Cote is replacing Rich Franklin, who was switched into a UFC 147 main event slot against Wanderlei Silva after Vitor Belfort suffered a broken hand in training.

Cote (17-7) went 0-3 in his first UFC tenure back in 2004-05. In 2006, he returned as part of The Ultimate Fighter's season 4 "The Comeback" edition, and fared much better, winning five of his first six bouts and advancing to a title match against Anderson Silva.

The Quebecois lost that match via third-round TKO after suffering a knee injury, the first of three straight losses that ultimately led to his release. Since that time, however, Cote has won four straight, including three victories over former UFC fighters (Crafton Wallace, Todd Brown and Kalib Starnes).

Le hasn't fought since last November's thriller against Wanderlei Silva.

UFC 148 is set for July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a middleweight title main event of Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II.