Demian Maia was supposed to give Nate Marquardt the challenge he needed before cementing himself as the #1 contender to Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight title. Instead, Marquardt disposed of Maia in only 21 seconds at UFC 102, staking his claim to another crack at the world’s pound-for-pound best fighter.
Although nobody seriously thought that Maia could challenge Marquardt’s stand-up, he wasn’t counted out because of his amazing ground game. Unfortunately, the only time the fight hit the ground was when Maia fell face first onto the mat after eating a right hand from Marquardt.
With wins in 4 out of his last 5 bouts since his devastating loss to Silva at UFC 73, Marquardt doesn’t care who’s next for him, he just wants to “fight the best opponents.”
Of course Marquardt did say he wanted to be the middleweight champion, a feat that he can only achieve by fighting the aforementioned Silva. “I’m very happy, but I want the middleweight belt,” Marquardt told the media.
When asked who was next for Silva, UFC president Dana White was unsure as to whether it would be Marquardt or Dan Henderson.
“I don’t know. I was just saying earlier that I gotta figure this thing out and think about it, but obviously they’re both in the mix for a title shot against Anderson,” White said at the post-fight press conference.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation for MMA fans as both Henderson and Marquardt are viable challengers to Silva’s title, although Silva holds victories over both.