Following his loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 122 on Saturday, former top middleweight contender Nate Marquardt didn’t offer up excuses for why he didn’t win, but he also wasn’t sure why things went down the way they did.
Falling prey to the Okami style of attack, Marquardt definitely had his moments in the 15-minute fight, but was tentative for much of the bout, never truly letting his hands go to land any significant damage.
Looking back on the performance, Marquardt believes he did enough to win the fight, but also understands that he didn’t see exactly what the judges saw sitting cageside.
“I felt great coming into this fight. I felt like I had a great camp, mentally I felt ready, felt like I had a great game plan, and honestly in the fight I felt like I was landing the harder shots and when he was catching me it wasn’t really affecting me. The judges perceive it as he’s controlling the fight,” Marquardt said. “I felt I did enough to win, but I wasn’t a spectator, I was in the fight, so it’s hard for me to say.”
Time after time in the fight, both Marquardt and Okami landed their fair amount of strikes with the Denver based fighter also hitting a few takedowns. For Okami’s part, he stayed the more aggressive fighter throughout, and pushed the pace for much of the three rounds.
Marquardt believes that when damage was being done, he was the one doing it, but not enough to sway the judges to his side.
“Inside the fight I felt like I was winning. I was landing the harder shots, I rocked him like three times, I was getting takedowns,” Marquardt explained. “I don’t know what went wrong at this point. I have to watch the tape, and I have to study it with my coaches and really figure out what happened.”
Having the right strategy and following the strategy are two different things as well, and Marquardt knows there were times in the fight that he didn’t pull the trigger when he probably should have.
“I think part of it was I didn’t put the combinations together as much as I usually do, that could be part of it. I’m really not sure at this point,” said Marquardt.
The last two fights that Marquardt has had with a title shot on the line, he’s come up just short. Never deterred, Marquardt still has a fire inside of him to one day be the UFC middleweight champion. So, for now, he’ll get back on the horse and face the next tough opponent that gives him a chance to get back to the top.
“Either way, I’m still one of the best and I’m going to get back in there and be the champ one day,” said Marquardt in closing.