The main event of UFC Fight Night 43 saw Kiwi James Te Huna attempt to defend his home country when he took on former title challenger Nate Marquardt. It was a bout that took place in front of a hot New Zealand crowd that would soon be silenced.
The fight seemed to be a one-sided battle for Marquardt, who outstruck and outgrappled Te Huna throughout. He eventually secured a fight-ending armbar on Te Huna, earning him a victory in a win-or-go-home bout.
What did we learn from this fight? Let's take a look.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
How great Marquardt looked in his return to 185. He looked like the weight cut to 170 really drained him, and he found little success at that weight. In this bout against Te Huna, he looked like his former self—a well-rounded warrior.
The armbar was also impressive, as it looked like Te Huna would escape the back mount position with Marquardt too high. "The Great" adjusted himself, grabbed a kimura and transitioned to a straight armbar that he extended and earned the tap with.
It was a fun way to end a fun morning of fights.
What We Learned About Marquardt
We learned Marquardt is back. Te Huna is a credible opponent, and with his back against the wall, Marquardt more than passed his test with flying colors.
If he continues to fight like he did against Te Huna, he could work his way back to the title picture fast. Despite recent struggles, Marquardt is still a top-25 fighter at middleweight and a guy who can quickly ascend the ladder.
What We Learned About Te Huna
In big fights, the Kiwi has faltered in his UFC career. Te Huna dropped to middleweight after big losses to Glover Teixeira and Mauricio Rua in hopes to reboot his career.
He is a tough, rugged guy, but his skill set is much better against guys in the middle to lower part of the division.
What's Next for Marquardt?
Marquardt saved his UFC roster spot Saturday morning and now has a clearer view of bigger and better things. That gives him a sense of relief going forward.
Tim Boetsch and Brad Tavares are set to meet each other in Bangor, Maine, in a rebound bout for both men. The winner is a good candidate to fight The Great next.
What's Next for Te Huna?
Te Huna is in a must-win situation next time around. That means he needs a step down in competition next.
Antonio Braga Neto and Clint Hester are set to duke it out Saturday night in San Antonio in the second part of the doubleheader. Whoever comes out on the losing end could be a suitable opponent for Te Huna.