"We started to cut the weight in December, so we took our time," Cote told MMAjunkie.com Radio (MMA Radio, UFC Radio - MMAjunkie Radio
) this past week. "But it's all about the knowledge of nutrition and the knowledge of what you put in your body. I've learned a lot in this process. My frame is made for 170. Four of five years ago, I was an average middleweight. There are guys who walk around at 230 and make 185, so those are pretty big dudes. So it was a smart choice to drop to 170."
Cote planned to drop from 185 to 170 this past year after his fight with Alessio Sakara. But when that fight resulted in a disqualification win for Cote at UFC 154, also in Montreal, the choice was made to match the two up again to see if thing could get settled without any controversy.
The two planned to meet again on this card, but a Sakara illness forced him out, paving the way for Cote to make the drop to 170 with the rematch off.
"It was a lot easier than I thought," Cote said of the drop. "I'm working with professional nutritionists (who are) working with the Montreal Canadiens. I didn't starve and I ate pretty well. I still eat close to 2,700 calories a day. We did it all during the training camp, and it was 10 times easier than I thought (it would be). I cut the gluten, and for me that was a big part of why I was still gaining weight. I'm going back to school after my fight to be a nutritionist, because it interests me."
Voelker will be fighting for the first time in 20 months, though he comes into the fight on a three-fight win streak with a pair of victories over Roger Bowling and a win over Cory Devela while in Strikeforce. Consider three of his past four fights have been against Bowling, seeing Cote across the cage from him probably will come as a welcome change of pace, not to mention just being in a fight after the long layoff.
Cote said his opponent may take some adjusting once the fight starts, but if he plans for that to work to his advantage, he could wind up in a precarious position.
"I know when you don't fight at a high level like that for a long time, it's going to take time to adjust yourself during the fight," he said. "When I came back and fought Alan Belcher, he gave me 10 straight kicks before I was able to do something. But Bobby Voelker is having his first fight in the UFC, so for sure he's going to come hungry. If I think he's going to be slower or weaker, he's going to surprise me."
Cote, who also works the UFC's French broadcasts when he's not fighting, said anyone who thinks dropping 15 extra pounds will have a negative impact on any power he brings in the standup game – including Voelker – might be sorely mistaken.
He plans on the cut being nothing but a fresh start, and one he can use to ride out the rest of his fighting career.
"Getting power in your hands, it's not about the weight – it's about technique," Cote said. "I'm a technical boxer, and I feel as if I have the same power. But I'm 10 times faster and I can push the pace a lot more. I'm in really good shape right now. ... I feel 10 times faster and light on my feet. My footwork is better, too. I've never been in bad condition, but it's over the top right now. I'll go there to finish the fight."
And when things finally do wind down, he'll have the commentating as a backup. Or maybe even this newfound love of nutrition and the science of cutting weight.
"I'm still going to fight for three, four, five years if I'm lucky," he said. "The TV is going well, so when I stop fighting I'm going to have a lot of options. I'm still enjoying fighting and training and I want to stay in the UFC as long as possible. That's why I train my ass off every day. But I know one day it's going to stop, and when it stops I'll have options to do whatever I want after."