Former number one UFC middleweight contender Nate “The Great” Marquardt will be looking to get back on the trail to title contention and bounce back from a recent loss to Chael Sonnen when he takes on submission artist Rousimar Palhares this September 15th at UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares. Marquardt recently spoke with MMANation at 106.7 The Fan and explained how he plans to avoid his Brazilian opponent’s vicious submission skills; which he is known to implement to their full capacity, breaking bones if necessary.
“That’s his style. He likes to work those submissions,” Maruardt said. “But I’m ready to defend those submissions with everything I have. I’m not letting him catch me in anything. I heard he’s working very hard on his wrestling.”
Marquardt is widely acknowledged as being one of the most well-rounded fighters currently competing in MMA and feels that he has a significant striking advantage of the short and stocky Palhares. It is because of this, he says, that he expects Palhares to have improved his wrestling game in order to bring the fight to where his strengths lie: the mat.
“I’m expecting him to be a great wrestler when it comes to his takedowns,” Marquardt said. “If he shows up with anything less than that it’ll be an easy night. But if he shows up with good takedowns I’ll be able to display that I have good takedown defense. I’ll have him on the bottom if he pulls guard or whatever and be able to work my ground and pound from there. But who knows? He could be a completely different fighter when I fight him.”
The Greg Jackson-trained fighter maintains that he is not looking past his next opponent, but is open with his plans should he net a victory against Palhares; namely that he wants to start taking steps back towards a title shot.
“Not looking past Palhares, but winning this fight I’m gonna want a top guy,” he said. “My goal is to get a title shot. I think I’m gonna have to beat one of those guys [Belfort or Okami] or maybe a Wanderlei Silva to get that shot.”
Marquardt and Palhares will engage in their headlining bout next Wednesday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. The fight card will also feature bouts between Efrain Escudero and Charles Oliveira, Jim Miller and Gleison Tibau, and Ross Pearson and Cole Miller.