By the looks and sounds of it, it's clear Patrick Cote is in the best shape of his life, a good sign as the local fan favourite prepares to step into the octagon next month.

Cote will compete in UFC 158 along with superstar Georges St-Pierre at the Bell Centre March 16.

Cote has spent the majority of his MMA career in the middleweight division, but after months reflection decided to cut at least 15 pounds and fight as a welterweight. 

“I felt for a long time like I should be at 170. My frame is made for 170. I feel like I'm faster, even stronger than when I was 185 because I'm leaner. I feel really, really good,” he said.

Cote’s coach said this is a new and improved version of fighter dubbed 'The Predator'.

“You can see the difference in the way he moves. The boxing is way faster. He's faster in jiu jitsu. He even changed the way he walks,” said Brazilian jiu jitsu coach Fabio Holanda with a laugh.

Training partner Eric Audet agreed that cutting weight has been key.

“Since he decided to cut weight and go down to 170, he is much more explosive, faster and more fluid, so I think it's going to make a big difference in his game,” he said.

When cote enters the octagon on March 16th, he will do so for a 14th time under the UFC banner.    

His opponent is ‘Vicious’ Bobby Voelker.

“He's more of a brawler. He's not a really big technician, but he has a good left hook. He's making the transition from Strikeforce to UFC. So he's going to be very angry and hungry,” said Cote. 

Adding to pressures of fighting in his hometown, UFC president Dana White has recently announced that up to 100 fighters will be released in the near future.

This could be the most important fight of his career, he said.

“I think my first fight at 170 I have to prove how great my game is. I have to win. I can’t make any mistakes. I have to win this fight,” he said.