There's no question that when Nate "The Great" Marquardt is at the top of his game; not even the most promising of fighters at 185 pounds can shut him down.
Nate "The Great" has made a case for himself as being one of the toughest finishers in the sport, as has been evident by his track record in the middleweight division.
However, the question for this weekend is not whether Marquardt is a tough finisher in MMA.
The question is, will he be able to make the drop to welterweight and remain the same tough finisher at 170 lbs. that he was at 185 lbs.?
If fast-rising welterweight Rick "The Horror" Story has anything to say or do about it, the fight will end before Marquardt is able to get the chance to answer the question of whether he can be as competitive at 170 as he was at 185.
Additionally, Pat Barry has found success in his UFC career, save for bouts against Tim Hague and Mirko Filipovic, but on his way up the UFC ladder, he faces the inevitable encounter with an exciting yet controversial kickboxer who is one of the more exciting gatekeepers in the UFC heavyweight division in Cheick Kongo.
Though Kongo's likely to be the favorite due to his wrestling and ground game being more clear than Barry's ground game, "Mr. Hype or Die" cannot be prematurely perceived as an underdog, especially since the Roufusport wrecking machine has found some strong company within Brock Lesnar's Deathclutch camp, and that strong company could be one to point fingers at if we should see any takedown defense from this comical yet passionate young prospect.
All this and more can be seen this Sunday at UFC Live on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story, but who will walk out with the big bucks when all is said and done?