The first time Nate Marquardt fought for the UFC middleweight title, he was dominated…thoroughly. Champion Anderson Silva unleashed a barrage of strikes that transformed Marquardt into a human punching bag. However, Marquardt states that he has evolved since their meeting two years ago, in fact, he is a completely different fighter.
“It’s not going to be a rematch,” Marquardt said about the prospects of getting another shot at Silva. “Because the Nate you saw tonight is not the Nate that fought for the title. It’s going to be my first time.”
The Nate that lost to Silva at UFC 73 was intimidated and hesitant, looking more like a fighter that seemed more worried about being on the wrong side of a highlight reel than headlining it.
Marquardt is right, he is a completely different fighter now. The Marquardt that fans saw against Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95 this past Saturday was a dominating and imposing force that would not be denied. This Nate showed the dynamic striking ability that could present challenges for the current champ.
The Jackson Submission fighter now has the confidence and the overall game to stand toe-to-toe with Silva.
It is up to the UFC to determine when Marquardt will be granted his “first” title shot.