Coming to grips with being a “choker” could possibly be the toughest pill for any professional athlete to swallow (no pun intended). On the heels of UFC president Dana White’s recent disses, Nate Marquardt has not only accepted the moniker, but will use it as motivation to get him back in title contention.
“I stepped into the Octagon in Germany with every intention of beating [Yushin] Okami and fighting for the championship,” Marquardt told FightersOnly. “Unfortunately, I lost a hard fought decision. Yushin fought a heck of a fight, I give him a lot of credit, but the outcome of the fight is fully my responsibility. It was my fight to win.”
The Gambling Gods agreed, as they pegged “Nate the Great” a 2-to-1 favorite against the underrated Japanese stud. Roughly ten lopsided minutes later and Okami finds himself in a title fight, while Marquardt emerged as the sport’s biggest choker this side of Kenny Florian.
“After the fight and in recent days, Dana White has publicly criticized me for being a “choker” and not being aggressive enough. While Dana’s comments were difficult to hear, I firmly believe that I am one of the best fighters in the world and will one day be the UFC middleweight champion,” he confidently stated.
“However, in hindsight, Dana is right. In order to live up to my full potential and realize my championship dreams, I need to be more aggressive and showcase my inherent killer instinct. I need to stalk my opponents, impose my will and finish fights on a consistent basis.”
Although the rumor mill has been silent on the Marquardt front, he decided to call out a name that will force him to press the action and exchange.
“In order to re-establish myself as the number one contender, my next opponent needs to be an elite fighter who will stand and bang with me in the center of the Octagon until one of us is knocked out,” Marquardt expressed. “The fight that makes the most sense to me is Wanderlei Silva.
“Wanderlei is an amazing fighter who is very aggressive, I will pursue him with unwavering tenacity, then I will knock him out! I promise the UFC, Dana, my fans, my team, my coaches and most importantly myself that never again will there be a question about my cage aggression.”
Wandy has been on the mend from an August knee surgery. He is rumored to returning in March 2011.