Nate Quarry didn’t get an easy match up in his UFC pay-per-view debut. He was pitted against a crafty veteran with nearly a hundred professional MMA fights, “Mr. International,” Shonie Carter, but it was Quarry who looked like the veteran that night.
Nate recently spoke with MMAWeekly Radio about the win over Carter, how he got into Mixed Martial Arts, and who he’d like to fight in the future.
Many things happened at UFC 53. Franklin won the UFC middleweight belt. Andrei Arlovski defended his title and extended his winning streak. Karo Parisyan edged one step closer to a title shot. Paul Buentello won by submission, and the crowd went crazy for Forrest Griffin and Nate Quarry.
“I heard some applause. Yeah…I was just thinking how wonderful it is to finally be there, to finally show the world what I’m capable of, and what I’ve been preparing for, and to have so much fan support. They know what I’ve gone through on the show, to never get to fight. They’re wanting to see me fight. They want to see if I can live up to the hype. It’s just a wonderful feeling to have so many people in my corner rooting for me. It’s just amazing.” Quarry told MMAWeekly.
Shonie Carter has been notorious for his elaborate entrances, and UFC 53 was no exception. He came out in full pimp regalia, and took his time getting to the octagon. Nate couldn’t see it while in the back, but commented, “I heard some stories. I didn’t see it…I just didn’t even think about it. I knew that Shonie was going to be taking his time getting to the ring.
I was just happy that I wasn’t the one going out first. Then I’d have to stand there in my underwear in front of thousands and thousands of people while he did his thing for twenty minutes. I was more than happy to sit out back. The only thing going through my mind was yes it’s finally here. I finally get to do what I’ve been preparing for.”
Nate’s come a long way since he started training in MMA nine years ago after watching the UFC. Quarry commented, “I started training in Mixed Martial Arts when I was 24, after watching the first few UFCs. I got all excited about it, and wanted to go down and find out what was going on, and through my career I’ve had a few set-backs. I’ve had injuries at bad times. You saw my ankle injury on the show. Well a few years before that I had my right pectoral torn off in training by Randy as well, so that was a huge set-back. I have about a five inch scar.”
He added, “That was just kind of the way my career would go. I’d get a few wins. Things would be going great, and then I’d get something like that where I had to go get surgery and was out for nine months. I got back into it, and was winning again, and pop a rib out. Things like that, so it’s just taken a while to get here, and I look back at the way things have gone, and sure I could say if this wouldn’t have happened I’d be here. If that wouldn’t have happened I’d be here, but where I’m at right now is just so great. I wouldn’t want to change anything for fear that I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”
With all the attention from the reality show, and coming from one of the most successful camps in MMA, Team Quest, Nate was asked if he feels pressure. He responded, “I really don’t feel any pressure. I’m just going to go out there. I’ve said it over and over again. I’m going to do the best that I possibly can, and if I did my best…and Shonie would have beat the hell out of me, I’d be here and I’d be saying the same thing. I’m sorry I lost, but Shonie was just a better man that day. If I go in with that kind of an attitude what can somebody say? You went out and fail miserably, but you did your best. That’s the best anybody can do. Just because Randy got knocked out by Chuck, people don’t come up to him and say well I guess you’re a loser now. That’s ridiculous. All we can do in this world is go out there and do the best that we can, and prepare, work as hard as we possibly can, and when it comes down to it…see what happens.”
About the fight with Carter, Nate commented, “There wasn’t too much of a surprise. I knew that he was going to be a hard competitor, and he was going to come in to win. When we got into the clinch I could tell that he was bringing his whole game. He was trying to shove me around and make things happen.” It was Nate that imposed his will on Carter ending the fight half way through the first round.
Looking to the future, Quarry said, “I just want to make my way up, and hopefully get a title shot some day. Hopefully things will go well for me, and if Rich still has the belt when I’m up there and ready to go, then hopefully we’ll be able to clash heads. That would be awesome. I think it would be a fun, exciting fight. You saw how Rich just dominated Evan. I think he’d be a great competitor to go against. At the very least to say hey I got my title shot, and if he beats the hell out of me all I can say is he was a better man that day, and it was a great time. One of those memories that you’ll have for the rest of your life.”
Rarely do you see two teammates fight each other in MMA. With Nate climbing the ladder in the middleweight division and teammate Matt Lindland as a contender in that weight class, Quarry was questioned if he’d fight Matt Lindland. Nate answered, “If that’s what it comes down to I’m sure that, that would be a possibility. I know Matt wouldn’t have a problem with it at all. He loves punching me in the head, and we’ve gone round and round at the gym. He’s a competitor. For him it’s not a personal thing at all. It’s just let’s get in the ring and see who’s better. If that opportunity came up, it’s not something that I’m going to be pushing for, for sure. He’s a friend of mine and he’s a great training partner, but if he has the title, and I was next in line for the title shot I’m sure that, that would happen.”