The highs and lows of Nate Marquardt

nullIt is hard to find a more storied career than Nate Marquardt.

Despite never having won a championship, he has prominently been in the title picture for nearly four years now.

Marquardt has a great all-around game, but “The Great” has never been able to come through with the big victory to send him over the top.

As he gets set to return to action on Sunday in his 170-pound debut against Rick Story, I thought I would look at the three biggest wins and losses in his lengthy career.

High – KO win over Demian Maia at UFC 102 – In what was billed as a No. 1 contender’s match in the UFC middleweight division, Marquardt and Maia faced off. It didn’t last long though, as Marquardt recorded a one-punch KO of Maia in just 21 seconds. It was the most devastating finish of his career and one that seemed to have him on track for his second title shot.

Low – Decision loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 – Following the win over Maia, Sonnen was then placed in front of Marquardt and the two had a war, but Marquardt wasn’t able to stay off his back, which is normally a strength for him. Sonnen dictated the location and pace of the fight, which set Marquardt back once again.

High – Submission win over Jeremy Horn at UFC 81 – Fresh off a title loss to Anderson Silva, Marquardt needed to get back on track and he did by getting an impressive submission win over submission specialist, Jeremy Horn. Marquardt bullied Horn in the first round and then got a standing guillotine that left Horn with no choice but to tap out. The win showed that Marquardt is a solid all-around fighter.

Low – Split decision loss to Thales Leites at UFC 85 – Leave it to Marquardt to take a big win and follow it up with perhaps the worst loss of his career. After submitting Horn, Marquardt then faced off with Thales Leites, an average fighter at best. Marquardt seemed to be miles ahead of Leites when watching the fight, but suffered two point deductions in the contest, which eventually led him to suffer a split decision loss and helped Leites get on track to a title fight.

High – TKO win over Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 22 – After the loss to Sonnen, Marquardt came back and easily beat submission specialist, Rousimar Palhares. The fight went to the ground early and Palhares attempted a leg lock that Marquardt quickly slipped out of. While Palhares complained of “greasing,” Marquardt pounced and knocked him out. Marquardt was cleared of any of the greasing claims and seemed to be on track for another winning streak.

Low – Unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 122 – A title fight was again at stake for Marquardt, but another letdown took place. He was controlled by Yushin Okami, who proved to be the stronger fighters in the contest. Marquardt struggled to use his striking and just looked to tentative for the fight. This loss would eventually lead Marquardt to make his next big decision and move to welterweight.

How will this move down go? Will he still have the strength and conditioning he had at 185 pounds, or will he be a step too slow for the 170-pound pool. He already holds a dominant win over the likes of Martin Kampmann, but he will be tested by Rick Story, who likes to bully his opponents. Marquardt could be a real threat to teammate Georges St. Pierre, but he needs the killer instinct to really become “The Great” that his nickname entails.

  

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