Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin will attempt to defend his UFC middleweight title tonight against Nate ‘The Rock’ Quarry. MMAWeekly’s Scott Petersen spoke with Quarry just before the UFC 56: ‘Full Force’ weigh-ins, and along with Frank Trigg, gave an insiders view on the match up for the middleweight title.
During his video interview with Nate Quarry (that can be seen on mmaweekly tv) Scott Petersen didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary with Nate just hours before the biggest fight of Quarry’s career. Petersen reported, “During the interview he’s always a little bit stiff, and then after-wards he kind of loosens up, and with the Team Quest guys; they’re always goofing around. I think that’s just Nate in front of the camera.”
Scott continued, “One thing that’s kind of interesting, the feeling from the Team Quest Camp is loose. It’s very relaxed. The feeling I get from the camp, as a whole, with Quarry is confident.”
Frank Trigg commented about Team Quest’s air of confidence going into big fights. He stated, “They know 100%, no matter what happens, they’re going to win. They know it. Same thing with the Miletich Camp. Those guys know when they walk in, not matter what, they’re going to win. There’s no pressure on them. They know for sure they’re going to win. They train like it. They work like it. That’s how those big teams are that are that good…They know for sure they’re going to win, so there’s no stress…They know they’re going to win. What the hell do you need to worry about? They go in there, and they hammer that. It’s amazing how the Team Quest guys do that.”
Discussing the fight itself, Trigg commented that Quarry needs to, “Keep his hands high. Keep throwing at Rich’s head. Rich always keeps his hands low when he punches especially in the later rounds…Nate needs to do some pure boxing. He needs to beat Rich to the punch, and be able to beat him on the inside and outside if he chooses to. He can’t let Rich get any motivation in the the fight. You’ve got to kind of shut Rich down early. If he gets any kind of motivation where he thinks he’s got you a little bit, he keep coming, he keeps coming, he keeps coming harder. He keep accelerating the pace, so you’ve got to bang him early. When he shoots on you, you’ve got to sprawl and not let him have it. If you’re on your back you’ve got to hit a bunch of submission attempts and keep him frustrated the whole time, and get up and keep moving. Anytime he turns around and keeps trying to come at you keep banging him in his head. Every position, you keep banging him in his head. He’s not used to getting hit in his face because he’s so dominating and so overpowering with his aggressiveness. It keeps people away from punching him.
Scott Petersen also spoke with Rich Franklin in Vegas just hours before he stepped on the scales to weigh in. “He’s definitely confident, but he’s not over confident by a long shot. He made it clear that he’s taking it serious. He feels that there’s a lot that Quarry can bring. He’s not going to take it easy and let anything slip by him. The one thing I thought was very interesting is that, I think, for Franklin who used to fight at 205; it just seems like…He looks very tired at 185. I get the impression that it’s probably tough for him to make that weight.” Petersen reported.
Having said that, Frank Trigg said, “It’s like anything else. If you’re going to do it one time it makes it difficult, but the more you do it, it makes it easier and easier…This is his third time now making this weight? He’s doing much better. He’s got to be. It’s got to be a lot easier for him to make, to come down and come back up. He’s just more used to it. That’s all.”
Addressing what Rich Franklin needs to do to retain his belt, Trigg said, “Rich Franklin needs to keep doing what he’s been doing. Once he hits you time he tends to get pace on you, as I just said, and he can do it again with Nate Quarry. If he takes Nate down, or frustrates Nate at all on the ground, he’ll start accelerating my the second or third round. It would be very clear his dominance, and he could probably finish the fight out by TKO or tap-out due to striking sometime in the fourth.”