Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt is one fight away from acquiring another shot at the UFC title. If Marquardt is victorious over his next opponent, Chael Sonnen, he’ll be next to face the winner between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort later this year. Marquardt admits that he would prefer a rematch fight against Silva, but is willing to accept a title bout against Belfort as well. Belfort is scheduled to face ‘The Spider’ for the middleweight belt in April as part of the UFC 112 main event in Abu Dhabi.
As of right now Marquardt is focused solely on Sonnen, another huge threat in the 185-pound division. The 3-time middleweight King of Pancrase champion understands the difficult task ahead of him, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to add another win to his record and climb right up to the number one contender spot. In a recent interview with sherdog.com, Marquardt explains the importance of having a strong wrestling technique against Sonnen. Marquardt’s long time trainer and mentor also shares his thoughts on this very important bout.
From Nate Marquardt:
“He’s a very good wrestler…I have to make sure my wrestling is where it needs to be. I’ve brushed up on it, fixing any mistakes and making sure my timing and reactions are good. He’s definitely a grinder. I have to use the right strategy and not let him push me around the ring. [In regards to fighting the winner between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort] I definitely would prefer to fight Anderson, because he beat me before…At the same time, if Vitor beats him … I’d be happy with either one of those scenarios. [In regards to a possible rematch against Silva] The main difference is, mentally, I’d be a completely different fighter…The first time we fought, I was kind of stuck in a rut, thinking I couldn’t [afford to] lose. I got to where I didn’t want to overcommit, and it took away a lot of my aggression. Since I’ve gone back to my old style, I’ve been finishing guys…The thing that makes it hard is I don’t feel like I did my best against him…If I had, I think I could have and would have beaten him, even back then. Now that I’ve improved so much, it makes me even more eager to face him again.”
From Marquardt’s MMA trainer, Greg Jackson:
“Chael Sonnen is no joke; he just beat Okami…He’s a great fighter. He’s a great grinder. He gets in there and he’s a workhorse, and he offers us a lot of threats. If we do get past him, then we have a whole new challenge, but that’s what Nate wants to do. I think Nate wants to prove that he’s the best, and I think he’s on the road to doing it…I’m a 100 percent believer in Nate Marquardt…I think he’s just amazing and getting better every fight. The important thing with Nate is to execute smart game plans and be really creative. Nate is such a creative fighter that if he stays within the parameters of the game plan and just lets himself go and be creative and open up and have a lot of fun, I think he can beat anybody.”