Nate “The Great” has done it all. He has held world titles but the one title that eludes him is the UFC middleweight belt. At UFC 122, Nate has a chance to get one more shot at the middleweight champ when he meets Japanese world class grappler Yushin Okami.
For the moment, I will go through the 10 most defining moments in Nate Marquardt’s career.
After the controversy of the Leites decision, meaning Nate missing out on the chance of a rematch with Anderson Silva, Nate Marquardt bounced back and got his first UFC TKO win over tough Danish fighter Martin Kampmann.
This would began a series of TKO victories for Nate in the UFC as he began his climb towards the top of the UFC middleweight ladder.
Coming off a disappointing loss against Chael Sonnen, Nate Marquardt main-evented a UFC Fight Night against tough jiu jitsu fighter Rousimar Palhares. Palhares had never been stopped and hung tough with the likes of heavy hitter Dan Henderson.
Controversy ensued as Palhares believing Marquardt had greased took his eyes of his opponent to complain to the ref. Nate jumped at the rookie mistake and finished Palhares with strikes.
Marquardt suffered a suprising defeat against underdog Chael Sonnen. Marquardt caught Sonnen in two very deep Guillotine Chokes in the first and third rounds; however, Sonnen managed to get free and out grappled Marquardt on route to a decision.
The result would set Marquardt down the ladder and pushed Sonnen to a title shot against Anderson Silva.
After Nate Marquardt defeated Izuru Takeuchi, UFC came and signed Nate to a UFC contract. Marquardt’s debt went smooth winning a decision against a tough fight in Ivan Salaverry. However, a post-fight drug test showed that Nate had high levels of nandrolone, which led to a suspension.
Marquardt protested his innocence, saying he only used over-the-counter products. He was re-instated earlier than his suspension.
Controversy always seems to follow Nate “The Great” Marquardt, and none are more famous than the Almeida incident. After submitting to a guillotine choke, the ref was unable to separate the fighters immediately and the choke was held on.
After separation, Nate threw a punch at Almeida and both camps stormed the ring. Nate apologised later on and congratulated Almeida on his victory.
Marquardt’s fight with Kiuma Kunioku is the first time Nate would become King of Pancrase middleweight champion. Nate beat Shonie Carter in the semi finals before later that night he would beat Kiuma by decision.
He would go on and have three more fights with Kiuma Kunioku in a mini rivalry.
Jeremy Horn is a well-respected fighter in the MMA community with some slick jiu jitsu skills, and with Nate coming off his first TKO loss in the UFC, MMA pundits were wondering if Marquardt could recover his momentum to the top of the ladder.
Nate Marquardt showed stellar jiu jitsu skills himself by submitting the UFC veteran with a guillotine choke in the second round at UFC 81.
Fresh off his win against Horn, Marquardt took on Brazilian jiu jistu fighter Thales Leites.
Unfortunately, controversy follows Nate everywhere.
Controlling the fight in the second and third round, Marquardt illegally landed a knee to the head on a downed opponent and was docked a point. In the third round,Marquardt was wrongly accused of elbowing to the back of the head by referee Herb Dean and received another docked point.
The two docked points would cost Marquardt a rematch at Anderson Silva.
After dominating Dean Lister, Nate Marquardt finally impressed UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to give him a shot at Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately, Nate would become a victim of a record-breaking run of wins in the UFC by the Spider, as he was stopped by strikes at the end of the first round.
Damien Maia was the poster boy of Brazilian jiu jistu and was considered by many as a threat to pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva. Maia was confident in his ability with many betting lines split on the victory.
Nate put that to bed 20 seconds into the first round by planting a counter straight right as Maia went for a flying kick. Nate showed genuine class by not continuing his assault noticing Maia was visibly hurt.