July 7, 2007 (7/7/7), marked the unluckiest day in UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt’s career. He was the 4th UFC fighter to fall victim to the pin-point accuracy of champ Anderson Silva’s devastating striking skills. Despite having that 1stRound knockout haunt him over the last couple of years, Marquardt states that it was actually the luckiest day of his life.
“It’s the best thing that happened for me,” Marquardt said. “It forced me to change a few very important things, and it was definitely motivation to continue training hard, continue to improve myself in all areas. It made me stronger mentally, which was one of the keys.”
Marquardt will be taking his new mindset into this weekend’s UFC 95 bout against Wilson Gouveia, who has won six of his last seven Octagon bouts, including his last two.
“He’s an all-around tough guy, but I think I match up well in all areas,” said Marquardt. “Actually, I think I’m better than him in all areas. I’m a better striker, quicker, faster, stronger, better on the ground, better wrestling, better endurance. I like the matchup.”
Although he is focused on the current task at hand, Marquardt can’t seem to avoid the questions regarding his ultimate goal of getting a second crack at Silva and his title.
“People are asking more about the fight coming up, but I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t asked about a title shot,” stated Marquardt.
The one thing that he can state with absolute certainty is that he has improved his game, physically and mentally, in all three of his fights since losing to the champion.
“All of them solidified in my mind that I’m doing what I need to do to prepare for my fights,” Marquardt said. “I’ve performed well, and I’m finding the technical things I have to fix. I have the right mindset, I’m training the right way and I belong there.”