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Anderson Silva Picks Nate Marquardt To Be Next Middleweight Champion

After his brutal first round KO victory over Demian Maia at UFC 102, Nate Marquardt figured he was next in line to challenge Anderson Silva for the 185 lbs. crown or at least fight in a number one contender bout. But while the recently announced UFC 109 match up with Chael Sonnen is obviously neither of those, division king Anderson Silva feels that Marquardt will be wearing the gold soon enough.

“I think the next champion of this category will be Nate Marquardt,” Silva told, translated by “If I’m not over with the belt, I believe Nate will be the next champion 84kg, the next guy to win for a long, long time this way.”

Marquardt has stopped his last three opponents, including his 21 second knockout over Maia. Despite already having lost to Silva via TKO at UFC 73, Silva feels that Marquardt has evolved greatly since they met in July of 2007.

“I’ve been following all his fights and he has evolved a lot since the last time we fought,” said Silva. “He has evolved a lot, it’s hard, has a good feature for a fighter, evolved a lot during the fight. I believe he is the next champion in that category.”

Before he can get a chance to prove Silva right, Nate Marquardt will face Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV on February 6, 2010.