Kalib Starnes returns to Montreal this Saturday to fight Patrick Cote, almost three years to the day of the UFC 83 fight that ruined him professionally.
“This is a real test for me, this one,” he told The Canadian Press. “Because it’s going into a place where I’ve had a dramatic failure in the past. And to be able to go back to that same venue and to fight somebody there, I’m going to be under a lot of pressure.
“I’ll be the underdog and hated really by the crowd coming in,” he added with a chuckle. “He’s the Quebecer, he’s from Montreal, he’s going to be the favourite … I’ll be booed all the way to the ring probably.
“Being able to deal with that pressure and stress and to come out of it and perform up to my ability, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing. I have no thoughts about victory or losing or anything. I just feel like going in there and dealing with that pressure. And I want to put myself back in that situation and I want to kind of grow from it.”
He says he hasn’t thought of Saturday’s fight as closure.
“But it may be,” he added. “I can’t think of myself being put under more pressure than I will be this weekend and that’s something I look forward to.”
Kalib got crucified so hardcore after he ran from Nate Quarry that fateful night in 2008 that a proper comeback would be something legit to form a religion around. And what an opponent to start it against – Patrick Cote, who’s like Nate Quarry all over again but with even more KO power. It’d all make for a pretty impressive story of redemption, which really makes it extra unfortunate that he’s probably going to lose.