UFC middleweight contender, Nate Marquardt, is suffering from a slight case of tunnel vision. Another title shot is all he has in his sights, and he doesn’t care who he has to go through to get there. Adding additional fuel to his fire is the fact that he dominated his last opponent for much of three rounds, and still lost.
Marquardt lost in his last Octagon bout to Thales Lietes at UFC 85 in July. On two separate occasions, he was deducted a penalty point, which proved to haunt him in his close split decision loss.
“The first point (deduction) was a mistake on my part (knee to a downed Leites’ face), but the second one (punch to the back of the head) was a bit unfair,” Marquardt explained to UFC.com. “I felt I should’ve finished him after that anyway, so the result was sort of my fault. I was pretty happy with my performance on the whole, though.”
Marquardt looks to get back on the winning track at UFC 88 against Martin Kampmann, who is undefeated in his four UFC bouts. All Marquardt wants is another shot at UFC champion Anderson Silva, so he knows that the road back won’t be easy, but he is willing to accept it.
“This is one of the fights we asked for,” Marquardt stated. “Kampmann defeated Leites, and a win over him would kind of put the stamp on the fight I had with Leites. I asked for a rematch with Leites and Thales didn’t want to fight me. You saw the fight, right? You can understand why Thales didn’t want to go there again. He ran away with a win based on a technicality and even then it was only a split-decision. I pretty much beat the crap out of him the whole fight.”
Although Kampmann hasn’t lost a bout within the Octagon cages, Marquardt feels that he is a better MMA fighter and is more determined to get back to challenge Silva for his title than Kampmann.
“I feel like I’m better than him in every area,” Nate said. “I feel like my stand up is better, my wrestling’s better and my ground game is definitely very well-rounded and tough to deal with. When it comes to the fight, I’m going to apply everything I know to beat him. I think I have more tools than him.”
Coming off a loss when you aspire to become a UFC champion can be a seen as a slight setback. Losing two consecutive fights can be seen as devastating. However, Marquardt isn’t allowing that kind of pressure to get to him.
“There’s no added pressure for me,” states Marquardt. “Ever since I fought for the title my mentality has been a little bit different. I’m stronger mentally now and don’t look to put any pressure on myself to perform. I just go out there and do it now. I go into every fight just expecting to do my best. As long as I go out and do my best, I’m going to win each and every time. I don’t have that, ‘oh, this is my last fight,’ kind of pressure. I don’t do that to myself.”
Marquardt has his eyes set on only one thing, and Kampmann is his first obstacle in getting there.