Nate Marquardt’s path towards getting a rematch with champ Anderson Silva got a lot stickier when the organization started recruiting talent from outside the Octagon. Although Marquardt, who faces Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 tonight, remains one victory away from a title fight, Marquardt hopes Silva still has the strap by the time it’s his turn again.
“I definitely would prefer to fight Anderson, because he beat me before,” Marquardt told Sherdog.com. “At the same time, if Vitor [Belfort] beats him at [UFC 112] … I’d be happy with either one of those scenarios.”
Marquardt was last seen knocking out Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Demian Maia in the first round of their UFC 102 contest in August. Although he was hoping to get in a five-round title fight immediately after, the UFC opted to have Belfort challenge Silva for his crown instead.
“I was pretty sure that I had earned another title shot, but that’s not the way it worked out,” Marquardt said. “When that didn’t happen, I was disappointed, but I’m over that now.”
UFC President Dana White announced during Thursday’s “UFC 109: Relentless” press conference that the winner of tonight’s bout between Marquardt and Sonnen will be the #1 contender.
“We always had it it mind, these guys are two of the top five in the world,” White said about making the Marquardt vs. Sonnen bout a #1 contender’s match.
“I’m very excited for this fight, that’s actually the first time I’ve heard that it’s going to be for a title shot officially,” Marquardt said after hearing the good news.
Since losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 73, Marquardt has compiled an impressive 4-1 record while Sonnen has won two straight inside the Octagon since losing to Demian Maia.
White put everyone at ease by saying that Silva will be staying at middleweight because he hasn’t cleaned out the division quite yet. In fact, White admitted that, “I’m the one that’s been pushing him up to 205 really.”
If Silva can get past Vitor Belfort at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, then we’ll know who his next opponent will be after tonight.