Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami: Who Has the Better Clinch Game?

Yael GrauerCorrespondent INovember 9, 2010

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29:  UFC fighter Nate Marquardt (L) battles UFC fighter Demian Maia (R) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 102:  Couture vs. Nogueira at the Rose Garden Arena on August 29, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Yushin Okami has been training at Team Quest to prepare for his fight against Nate Marquardt, and according to MMA Junkie, Team Quest co-founder Matt Lindland has said that Okami will have more power in the clinch than Marquardt will.

Okami may have a slight edge in a stand-up war, with Marquardt boasting a better submission game, but anyone who has seen Marquardt's fights knows just how strong he is in the clinch. Powerful and explosive, Marquardt is quick with knees and elbows, and certainly capable of using opponents as Thai punching bags.

Due to Marquardt's strength in this position, Okami would probably be best served not tying up in the clinch but instead using his judo to work for a takedown. Although Marquardt is more dangerous on the ground, Okami is good at controlling from the top, and if he can avoid Marquardt's submissions he may be able to eke out a decision win.

In response to Lindland's comment, Nate Marquardt had this to say: "Well, I guess we will see who is better. I have trained with the best in the clinch and I'm confident!"

Although the two fighters certainly have their strengths and weaknesses, calling Marquardt out for his clinch game seems a little odd. If I were in Okami's camp, I'd want to proceed with caution and play a smart game in the clinch (by avoiding it) rather than an overconfident one.