by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
One of the original Ultimate Fighters, Nate Quarry is continuing on the comeback trail. Since a loss to Rich Franklin for the UFC middleweight title in 2005, Quarry was stranded outside of the Octagon for nearly two years after an accumulation of injuries left him unable to compete.
Following a successful back surgery in June of 2006, he returned to active competition in the UFC in September of 2007, with his last victory having come at the expense of tested veteran Jason MacDonald this past April at UFC 97.
“I knew I just needed to be as aggressive as possible and needed every opening that came up to finish the fight,” recounted Quarry, the perpetual underdog, rising to the occasion where he was able to show a whole new facet to his game.
Rather than stand up and slug it out with MacDonald, the father of one capitalized on an opportunity. He followed MacDonald to the ground and ended the fight shortly thereafter with an array of punches and elbows, nearly all of which found their mark, prompting a halt to the bout inside of the first round.
“Jason MacDonald is a very tough competitor, I took him very seriously,” said Quarry while speaking with the MMAWeekly Radio show. “He’d taken (Rich) Franklin past the second round, took (Demian) Maia into the third round. He’d beaten (Chris) Leben. He’d beaten (Ed) Herman. So I knew there was no way I was going to underestimate him.”
Now appearing to be back in form and quite possibly better than ever, the ‘bionic’ man has had his fair share of pressure since returning. He concedes, however, that it’s the added pressure to perform that allows him to compete at his maximum potential. If that’s the case, his next opponent, Tim Credeur, is going to have his hands full.
“I’ve been focused on this fight now for a couple of months. Training camp has really coming together, just peaking at the right time, everything’s good,” he said.
“I always fight better when I’m a little bit scared and my back’s up against the wall and I’m really angry. I just went in and took all those emotions and just unloaded them in (the MacDonald) fight.”
Set to return as part on Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City, Okla., “The Rock” will have another chance to prove that there is no slowing down for this 37-year-old when he takes on rising prospect and fellow Ultimate Fighter alumnus “Crazy” Credeur, who has yet to taste defeat inside the Octagon.
“I think it’s another great one,” said the native Californian.
“He’s got three wins under his belt now in the UFC. Everything he’s been doing has been really successful for him. He’s training with a great camp, he’s looking to come in with a lot of momentum behind him, and I expect it to be a great fight. I don’t think any of his fights in the UFC have gone the distance.”
Back to his familiar stomping grounds on SpikeTV, where Quarry finds himself unbeaten in any of his UFC Fight Night appearances, he hopes to keep the stretch intact, showcasing his skills.
He just wants to be the best, is that so much to ask?
“I want to take the skills that I’ve been working on and keep building on those and stack them on like building blocks… making every fight even better and better and going in there with new tricks and these are the things that I’ve refined because I love to hear those words from (Joe) Rogan and (Mike) Goldberg saying, ‘man, this is the best Nate Quarry we’ve ever seen.’”