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UFC Champ Anderson Silva: Nate Marquardt Is The Heir Apparent

Although his time in the UFC’s middleweight division isn’t quite up yet, champion Anderson Silva believes the weight class already houses the “next” Anderson Silva.

“I think the next champion of this category will be Nate Marquardt,” Silva recently told “If I’m not over with the belt, I believe Nate will be the next champion at 185-pounds, the next guy to win for a long, long time this way.”

Although the Brazilian thoroughly trounced the talented Marquardt in their showdown at UFC 73, Silva believes “Nate the Great” has morphed into one of MMA’s best all-around fighters since their clash in July 2007.

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

Marquardt holds an impressive 29-8-2 record, and has won four of his last five.

Silva is clearly the best 185-pounder to ever set foot inside an Octagon, and has rolled off 11 straight victories, finishing off 10 of those opponents before the final bell.

He’s expected to defend his title against top contender Vitor Belfort at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on April 10th.