Marquardt Eyes Maia now, Title Later – Nate Marquardt feels he’s ready, however the UFC’s shot-callers don’t and that is why he’s facing fellow top contender Demian Maia this weekend instead of middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Although he’s always got gold on his mind, he knows that’s a moot point if Maia remains undefeated after UFC 101.
“I’m going to get my shot when it’s my time, when God wants me to get that shot,” Marquardt told Tapout Radio. “I don’t think it’s something I’ve got to stress about, or worry about. It’s kind of out of my hands anyway. All I have to focus on is doing my best when I fight, and that’s it.”
Maia holds a perfect 10-0 professional record, with only one win coming via decision. He has been quietly moving up the UFC’s 185-pound ladder over the past couple of years, however has never faced a fighter the caliber of Marquardt.
At the same time, Marquardt hasn’t fought anyone quite like the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace either.
“That’s why I was really excited to get that fight because a lot of times they won’t put two top contenders against each other because it gets rid of one of the title fights,” Marquardt stated. “It’s an honor to be able to fight another top contender and come out as the top, top contender.”
Maia is a methodical fighter, seldom taking it right to his opponent. He is more of a Lyoto Machida-type that is waiting for his opponent to over-exert themselves and that’s when he capitalizes. But considering what is at stake, the Jackson Submission Fighting-trained fighter is ready for just about anything.
“I really don’t know how it’s going to start out,” Marqurdt wondered. “My guess is he’s going to try to be more aggressive to take me down, but either way whatever he comes out with I’m ready for it and I’m going to be putting the pressure on him the entire time. By the end of the fight I’m going to be the one attacking him, that’s for sure.”
That’s fine and dandy, however 10 opponents have tried before and all have failed. What makes Marquardt think that he’s going to be the one to hand Maia his first L?
“I think it’s just going to take all my tools,” he said in closing. “I’m going to show up in shape, and I’m going to have to use all my technique on the ground as well as my strength and power, my punching power to kind of negate all of his jiu-jitsu setups. It’s going to be a great fight. I’m excited.”
UFC 102 will be taking place this Saturday inside the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The pay-per-view broadcast will begin at 10PM ET/7PM PT.