UFC middleweight contender and former King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt bounced back from a February decision loss to Chael Sonnen last night by TKOing Brazilian submission specialist Rousimar Palhares in the first round of their Ultimate Fight Night 22 headlining bout. FightersOnly.com took down Marquardt’s quotes from last night’s post fight press conference during which “The Great” responded to Palhares’ claims that he was greasing to avoid submission holds and also called for a big name opponent for his next fight.
“A guy like Vitor [Belfort] or Wanderlei [Silva] or anyone else at the top would be a great match-up,” said the Greg Jackson protege. “A guy like [Michael] Bisping or [Yushin] Okami too. I want the title I want the belt. I fell like I am still at the top of the division. I believe one fight with a top contender and I should be there.”
During the fight with Palhares, Marquardt escaped from one of the Brazilian’s vicious heel hook attempts, prompting “Toquinho” to signal the ref and call Marquardt out for greasing his legs after the fight. Marquardt was inspected closely by the referee and by the state athletic commissioner and was cleared of any foul play. Marquardt discussed the incident after the fight.
“Basically after the fight he was complaining, he thought I had something slippery on my legs,” he stated. “So referee Herb Dean wiped my legs with a paper towel. He said he was going to wait for the sweat to dry and if there was any grease left over it would leave a mark; there was nothing left over. Also the commissioner came over and with his bare hand, checked my legs and said I was good to go. I believe what happened was, I had a good sweat going before the fight and as I turned out of the ankle lock it slipped a little bit. He felt I had greased or something so I am sure he was a little upset. I was very excited for the win but that kind of took a bit out of it, its disappointing to have to defend yourself over something like that. I am not a dirty fighter, I don’t grease.”
Marquardt is correct in his assertion that he sits near the top of the division, and wins over a name like Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva or Yushin Okami would certainly get him closer to a title shot. Considering that Belfort and Okami are set to take each other on this November and Silva is recovering from knee surgery, it is unclear who would be the best opponent for “The Great.” Bisping is currently set to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama this October so, depending on the outcome of that fight and Silva’s recovery, a fight against Silva or Bisping (or possibly Akiyama) could fit into Marquardt’s desired “3-4 month” timetable for a return to action.