Marquardt hones ground game to not waste next shot

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Marquardt's win over Toquinho. Photo: Josh Hedges

Nate Marquardt completed five years in the Ultimate Fighting Championship as one of those at the top of the world MMA middleweight pecking order.

Now, it’s at the point where he can no longer squander any shots at at Anderson Silva’s belt.

The Aurora, Colorado native has had his shot at Anderson Silva in the past, in July 2007, when he lost in the first round at UFC 73.

He then climbed back up a few rungs till he dropped a decision to Thales Leites at UFC 85. He beat two more stalwart fighters and put away Demian Maia in style, dropping early with a punch, and then went on to lose to Chael Sonnen.

Foto: divulgação

Now, again back in the UFC title mix after his win against Rousimar Toquinho at UFC Fight Night 22 back in September, Marquardt (30w, 9l, 2d) returns his sights to champion Anderson.

“I’d like to fight for the title again; that’s my dream. It didn’t happen this time, só I’m not going to moan about it. Of course that’s what I want, but if it didn’t happen, I’m prepared to do another fight and then try for the title again,” he tells GRACIEMAG.com.

If his next opponent isn’t for the title, Nate will bide his time by watching keenly the bout between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort on February 5 in Las Vegas.

“Anderson versus Belfort is going to be a great fight. I’ll be watching and ready to face the winner, should that be the case.”

In the meantime, the fighter carries on brushing up his ground game – one of greatest strengths – with black belt Amal Easton, who trains beasts like Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub. Nate has shown himself to be a great gentle art admirer.

“I used to train in the gi a lot, mainly when I would teach. Now I train less, but I like it a lot and have fun when I wear the gi,” he says.

In his last outing, Jiu-Jitsu was one of his priorities in facing Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares. It proved to be worth it. Nate managed to free himself of the Brazilian’s dangerous heel hook and win by knockout.

“Toquinho is a great fighter, but I’m a black belt, too, and I fight and train with high-level Jiu-Jitsu guys. I have a lot of experience, train with a good gang and feel ready to face all the great black belts.”

A lover of the grappling game, Nate reveers and thanks the family that represents Jiu-Jitsu most.

The Gracies are the fathers of MMA. If it weren’t for them, the sport wouldn’t be where it is today. It wouldn’t be the same thing. They were really the ones who created it and are a huge part of where the sport is now,” he says in closing.

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