What’s Next for Nate Marquardt?

No on had really heard of Nate Marquardt prior to his title shot against Anderson Silva, but he had gone 4-0 in the UFC (6-0 over all) and has a sick skill set, so he seemed as good as a contender as any. Obviously, we know how the Silva fight worked out for him.

Since then he’s 3-1, with the one loss being against Thales Leites who he was beating the hell out of, but because of a few points deducted he wound up on the wrong end of a split decision. So where does “The Great” go from here? MMA Weekly lays out two options…

The win was Marquardt’s second straight since UFC 85, where repeated fouls cost him a victory over current contender Thales Leites. In his previous bout at UFC 88, he sent prospect Martin Kampmann to the welterweight division after dispatching the Danish fighter with a high kick and punches. Marquardt racked up four straight victories prior to his first bout with Silva.

Another prospect, undefeated jiu-jitsu phenom Demian Maia, appears poised for a contender bout to determine the challenger to the winner of Silva vs. Leites at UFC 97. Marquardt wants another chance to prove himself at the highest level, now that conditioning is a lesser concern. But if another Brazilian stands in his way, he will welcome a last test.

Demian Maia makes the most sense, especially when they left out two other contenders at 185 – Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson, who fight at UFC 100 in July. What’s funny here is that you have four cats who would be serious contenders under normal circumstances…if the middleweight champion wasn’t Anderson Silva. We usually refer to all of his opponents as “Henchman #4” or “Red shirt guy from the Enterprise.”

If I were Marquardt I’d take the fight against Maia, then the loser of the Henderson/Bisping fight (since the win most likely gets Anderson), then hope Anderson Silva is no longer champion after that.

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