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Nate Marquardt No Longer Heir Apparent

Not too long ago, UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva proclaimed that once he’s done dismantling the 185-pound division, Nate Marquardt would step-in and be the weight class’ next ‘Anderson Silva.’ Although “The Spider” already anointed his heir apparent, Chael Sonnen apparently had other ideas.

“I think the next champion of this category will be Nate Marquardt,” Silva told earlier this year. “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.”

Prior to his lopsided unanimous decision loss to Sonnen on Saturday at “UFC 109: Relentless,” Marquardt held an impressive 29-8-2 record and had won four of his last five bouts. His sole blemish during the run came in a controversial split decision loss to Thales Leites at UFC 85, which Marquardt had well under control but was deducted penalty points on two separate occasions for illegal strikes

Silva wasn’t the only one to believe Marquardt was on the cusp of greatness as most MMA pundits thought he earned a rematch against Silva after it took him all of 21 seconds to put the previously-unbeaten Demian Maia to sleep at UFC 102, and fellow top contender Dan Henderson bolted for Strikeforce.

It will be interesting to see where Marquardt goes from here.