by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Make no bones about it, Nate Marquardt was “very excited” by his 21-second knockout of submission wizard Demian Maia at UFC 102. One punch solidified has case to be considered with Dan Henderson as the next challenger to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s throne.
But after hundreds of hours in preparation, believe it or not, his Matrix-style KO was almost anti-climactic… almost.
“When you train for so long for a fight and you put so much effort into training for a fight and then it’s over in 20 seconds, it’s almost a letdown,” Marquardt told MMAWeekly.com later that night. “It’s kind of a weird feeling. I’m kind of feeling like I still haven’t gotten a fight in.”
Regardless the feeling, the fight counts, and it counts big for Marquardt. It’s the most recent in a successful run that he hopes will have him once again standing across the Octagon from the Brazilian kingpin. And this time, Marquardt feels it’s a completely different fight, or rather he’s a completely different fighter.
“(After the first fight with Silva) I realized that for a while I was fighting to not lose instead of going in there and giving it 100 percent,” he reflected. “I think I have improved so much technically… But the main thing that is gonna make that different is the mental change that I made, just going in there, looking for the finish. I think I’m a completely different fighter now because of that.
“I know the level that (Silva’s) at and I also saw what I was able to do against him without that killer instinct that I got back, so I think it’s gonna make a huge difference in (a rematch).”