For much of his tenure as a UFC middleweight, Nate Marquardt has been considered one of the division’s best competitors and a perennial top contender. Despite a few failed championship opportunities, the 31-year-old was afforded another shot at the bling-bling belt had he gotten past Yushin Okami at UFC 122 on Saturday.
While his always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride complex continues to baffle fans worldwide, Octagon president Dana White came to a simple conclusion after witnessing Okami’s lopsided unanimous decision win over Marquardt.
“He is a choker. He choked tonight,” White told a hoard of reporters after the UFC 122 post-fight press conference.
Outside of being called a quitter, choking could possibly be the only thing worse that an athlete could be dubbed. Are you SURE you want to label your own employee with that moniker?
“Listen, you couldn’t meet a nicer guy than Nate Marquardt. He’s a great guy. Nice kid, choked tonight,” White matter-of-factly said. “You already blew a title shot once, you’re in a fight for the title shot again in the 3rdRound and you’re not throwing any punches or kicks? [If you’re a professional], you’re going to go after it in the last round to get your title shot.”
Although White’s comments appear heartless and could be perceived as kicking a man while he’s down, as my former sales manager used to say, ‘The numbers don’t lie.’
Despite his impressive 30-10-2 tally, Marquardt was steamrolled by alleged PED abuser Chael Sonnen in a top contender bout at UFC 109 last February. He was quickly put down by reigning king Anderson Silva in his only Octagon title fight back in July 2007. Those showings, parlayed with the egg the Jackson Submission fighter laid last night inside the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany has sealed the choke job deal for White.
Speaking of Mr. Jackson…
“Marquardt is such a talented guy and what I’m seeing is stuff from the Greg Jackson camp,” White added. “This camp continuously – when these guys fight, their corner is either telling them they’re ahead or they’re winning.
“I mean, Nate Marquardt sat here tonight and said that he thought he won the fight. Where the [expletive] is his corner? You go into the last round and you’re getting outstruck by a wrestler, and you think you won the fight? And this is consistent with the Greg Jackson camp.”