by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com

Nate Marquardt takes
on Demian Maia at UFC 102 on Aug. 29 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore.,
in a middleweight match-up that will likely put the winner in line for a title
shot in his next outing.   


Marquardt is
currently ranked third on the MMAWeekly.com middleweight world rankings, while
Maia takes up the tenth slot.  Either of them could have been an easy
sell for a title bout with Anderson Silva and that was part of the appeal
in Marquardt accepting the fight.


"That’s why
I was really excited to get that fight because a lot of times they
won’t put two top contenders against each other because it gets rid of one of
the title fights," Marquardt told Tapout Radio.  "It’s
an honor to be able to fight another top contender and come out as the top, top


With a title shot on
the horizon, he is focused on the task at hand and insists he’s not looking
past Maia to greener pastures.


"I hope to
get the title shot, but right now he’s the top contender and he’s who I’m fighting,"
said Marquardt.  "I’m going to get my shot when it’s my time, when
God wants me to get that shot.  I don’t think it’s something I’ve got to
stress about, or worry about.  It’s kind of out of my hands anyway. 
All I have to focus on is doing my best when I fight, and that’s it."


On paper, Marquardt
is the more well-rounded fighter of the two, but Maia’s submission game is the
best in the division, if not the best in the sport.  Asked how he plans to
overcome Maia’s jiu-jitsu, the 30-year-old Colorado resident said, "He’s
a world class jiu-jitsu fighter and I’m lucky enough to have world class guys
that I train with, world class jiu-jitsu and world class MMA fighters.


"I think it’s
just going to take all my tools," he added.  "I’m
going to show up in shape, and I’m going to have to use all my technique
on the ground as well as my strength and power, my punching power to kind
of negate all of his jiu-jitsu setups.  It’s going to be a great fight. 

I’m excited."


Not only is he
excited, Marquardt is also confident heading into the Octagon on Aug. 29. "I
think he’s going to be in trouble no matter where the fight goes," stated
the Greg Jackson trained middleweight.  "If he tries to
pull guard on me, I’m going to pound him from the top.  If he tries to
bang with me, I think that’s a big mistake.  He’s going to have trouble
getting me down, and if he does get me down, I’m going to be able to fight him
off the bottom.


"I really don’t
know how it’s going to start out.  My guess is he’s going to try to
be more aggressive to take me down, but either way whatever he comes out with
I’m ready for it and I’m going to be putting the pressure on him the
entire time.  By the end of the fight I’m going to be the one attacking
him, that’s for sure." 



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