James Te Huna vs. Nate Marquardt to Headline UFC’s First New Zealand Event on June 28

April 7, 2014
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James-TeHuna-Joey-Beltran-6James Te Huna will make his middleweight debut against Nate Marquardt in the main event of the UFC’s first trip to New Zealand on June 28. UFC officials announced the match-up and the event on Monday. The event will take place at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Te Huna (16-7) will be dropping down from the light heavyweight division to the 185-pound weight class after losing back-to-back fights. The New Zealander made his promotional debut in February 2010 while riding a five-fight winning streak. He defeated Igor Pokrajak by technical knockout in the third round. He was lined up against Alexander Gustafsson in his second UFC bout at UFC 127 and lost by submission in the opening round.

Following the loss to Gustafsson, Te Huna put together a four-fight winning streak and was rising up the ranks to contender status. His streak came to an end when he faced Glover Teixeira at UFC 160. The 32-year-old was then matched up against former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in December and was knocked out.

Marquardt (32-13-2) will be returning to the middleweight division after a two-year stint at 170 pounds. In 2007, Marquardt made a run at the UFC middleweight title, but came up short against Anderson Silva in the title fight. He couldn’t quite get back to the top contender position. He earned two shots at getting another title fight, but was defeated by Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami in title eliminator bouts. The 34-year-old rebounded in his next outing, defeating Dan Miller by unanimous decision.

Following the win over Miller, Marquardt decided to drop to the welterweight division. He was expected to face Rick Story on June 26, 2011, but was forced out of the fight the day of weigh-ins due to not receiving medical clearance. He was then released by the UFC.

He made his welterweight debut against Tyron Woodley in the Strikeforce promotion for the vacant welterweight title on July 14, 2012. He knocked Woodley out to capture the title. It was Marquardt’s last win. After losing his last three fights, Marquardt will return to the middleweight division against Te Huna.

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  • snapdad

    i like this fight, but not main event worthy

    • shakejunt

      the point of these international events is the spread the sport and give borderline contenders the chance to fight 5 rounds. it’s a big jump for someone to go from co-headlining in a 3 round #1 contender fight to a real 5 round title fight. gives these guys opportunities to build their skills and their brand.

  • Marquardt Fan

    Wow, UFC picks up Marquardt who is on a 3-fight losing streak after banishing him for TRT usage. I am a fan of Marquardt but from a business-perspective are they picking him up to give Te Huna an easy fight?

    • Lucas Freire

      After giving the guy Glover and Shogun…Marquardt is done for. I thought he’d have a second wind when he KOed Tyron Woodley…but it had to be roid rage because the following fights were disappointing.

      • laurenlebonita

        true, i also suspect he was on the juice when fighting woodley!

  • Mark McDowall

    It’ll be on fight pass so hardly anyone will see it…

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    How is Marquardt even still in the UFC?

    • laurenlebonita

      because he defeated Tyron Woodley

  • laurenlebonita

    This is one PPV i will make sure to MISSS!