After suffering a disappointing loss to Chael Sonnen in his last outing, Nate Marquardt couldn’t have asked for a better outcome than his 1stRound TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares at “UFC Fight Night 22.” While the result may have been conclusive, Palhares’ dubious actions just before the scrap ended momentarily dulled Marquardt’s shine.
“It’s kind of disappointing to have to try and defend yourself over something like that,” Marquardt said at the post-fight press conference. “I’m not a dirty fighter, and I don’t cheat. I don’t grease.
“I didn’t really know what he was doing, but I saw his hand was kind of pointing toward the ref or something. He took his eyes off me. Once he took his eyes off me, that’s when I jumped in. I guess I was surprised, but at the same time, I was watching him the whole time for an opening. That was it.”
The Brazilian jiu jitsu wizard owned an impressive 11-2 record entering Wednesday night’s contest. Eight of his wins came by way of submission, five of them via some form of an ankle/foot lock. So the motivation for employing such tactics are understandable, however completely erroneous in this case.
“After the fight, [Palhares] was complaining,” Marquardt stated. “He thought I had something slippery on my legs. The referee, Herb Dean, wiped my legs with a paper towel. He said he was going to wait for the sweat to dry, and then if there was grease left over, it would leave a mark. There was nothing left over.
“Also, the commissioner came over and with his bare hand checked my legs and said that I was good to go.”
Now, moving on to the next order of business. Where do you think this win places you on the UFC’s middleweight totem pole?
“I feel like I’m still at the top of the division, and I proved it [against Palhares],” Marquardt added. “I want to earn the title shot, and I think that one fight with a top contender and I should be there.
“I want the title, I want the belt.”