by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It’s not every day that a fighter dreams about getting the chance to climb back into the cage against Anderson Silva, but that’s exactly what Nate Marquardt, the No. 2 middleweight in the world, is hoping for when he fights on Feb. 6 at UFC 109. As Marquardt prepares for his showdown against Chael Sonnen, the stage is set for a title fight if he gets the win.
Marquardt spoke to MMAWeekly Radio recently about the UFC’s promise to give him another chance at the 185-pound divisional belt if he’s successful in his next fight.
“From what I understand, if I win this fight, I will get the shot,” Marquardt said.
After a No. 1 contender’s match with Dan Henderson fell through in November due to Henderson’s contract situation – he has since signed with Strikeforce –Marquardt waited for the word on his next challenge and who would get the shot at Silva.
As it turns out, former light heavyweight champion-turned-middleweight Vitor Belfort will get the next shot at Silva in a match-up proposed for April. Marquardt was admittedly a little puzzled with the move, but understands it is just business.
“I think (Belfort’s) a great fighter. I don’t necessarily agree with him getting a shot or whatever, just because he really hasn’t fought at 85,” Marquardt commented. “His first fight in the UFC was at 95, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter too much to me because I’ve got a good fight coming up and to me I’m going to have to fight all those guys anyways, so it doesn’t really matter.”
Despite Belfort getting the shot, champion Anderson Silva seems to think highly of Marquardt. Silva recently stated that he believes the Colorado native will soon be the man to rule the roost of the middleweight division.
Whether the compliment was meant for Marquardt after Silva leaves the 185-pound belt behind was the unknown part of his comment, but the former King of Pancrase feels like winning the title would be great, but not as great as beating Silva to get it.
“I wasn’t sure when I heard that statement or read it or whatever, what exactly he meant. I assume he meant if he vacated or whatever and that would be a little disappointing to me,” stated Marquardt. “I want a rematch with him and it would mean the world to me to get a rematch with him.”
If Marquardt is successful against Chael Sonnen, all signs point to a rematch with Anderson Silva, but only time will tell if he will get another shot at the title while it’s still around the Brazilian’s waist.