Nate Marquardt and the Top-5 Fights He Should Take in Bellator
Just moments before Nate Marquardt was to weigh in for his high-profile welterweight debut in the UFC, the MMA community was informed that Marquardt did not clear his medical exams and would not be competing.
Although the public does not have many details, UFC President Dana White said he is disgusted with Nate Marquardt's actions and that he has been released by the UFC.
Assuming that his release also extends to UFC sister promotion Strikeforce, then the next biggest promotion would be Bellator.
As it turns out, there are actually a lot of good matchups for him there.
Here are the top five.
5. Rick Hawn
Rick Hawn got into the fight game late but has already proven capable at competing at some of the highest levels.
In a match that most observers felt he should have won by decision, Hawn lost his last fight to Jay Hieron.
Even though it is an official "loss," Hawn should not be taking any steps back in competition.
At 34 years old, Hawn does not have enough time to go back and slug it out in the trenches with lower-name guys, and frankly he is too good to do that anyways.
4. Lyman Good
Former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good is someone who physically matches up with Nate Marquardt well.
They are both 6' and incredibly muscular for 170-pounders. They are two of the biggest men in the world who can make it down to welterweight.
The similarities do not end there. Both men are incredibly well-rounded and durable, but prefer to keep fights standing and strike.
Marquardt should be the more refined fighter but Good is no "rebuilding" fight. If Nate does not bring his "A" game, he could get smashed.
3. Jay Hieron
Hieron is a veteran of the welterweight division and is currently riding an impressive 10-fight winning streak.
He owns victories over the likes of Joe Riggs, Pat Healy, Jake Ellenberger and Jason High.
A victory over Hieron would firmly entrench Nate Marquardt as one of the world's premiere welterweights.
2. Hector Lombard
If Nate Marquardt did not want to cut all the way back down to welterweight again, he could go back up to middleweight, where he is obviously comfortable, and take on unstoppable Bellator champion Hector Lombard.
Lombard is a stalky and powerful fighter who is riding an epic 18-fight win streak.
Nate Marquardt would be just the kind of test Lombard needs.
1. Ben Askren
The Bellator welterweight champion is the best matchup for Nate Marquardt outside of the Zuffa umbrella.
They are both the test they need for each other.
"Funky" Ben Askren needs a high-level opponent and UFC-level name on his record.
Marquardt needs to fight the toughest guys possible and as a world-class wrestler, Askren is also the last kind of stylistic matchup Nate "The Great" needs to overcome.