Coming off of a disappointing and frustrating loss to Yushin Okami dating back to November at UFC 122 which cost him his second title shot – at least in the short term – and drew the pointed criticism of UFC president Dana White, Nate Marquardt is in need of a win.
“The Great” takes on another Japanese fighter in Yoshihiro Akiyama (who was forced to put a hold on his fledgling relationship with Greg Jackson’s MMA as a result of Marquardt’s long-time affiliation with the camp) next weekend at UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones and, despite the results of his last outing, he told FightLine.com that he doesn’t intend to switch up his approach to this impending bout.
“I don’t plan to do too much different than I did with Yushin really,” said Marquardt. “Honestly I felt I won that fight. I landed more power shots than he did and dictated the pace for the first two rounds. He pushed the pace in the third, but I felt I did enough to win. That’s the unfortunate part of this sport. You may think you’re winning when you’re not. I will do some things different in this one, but I don’t want to give them away.”
Marquardt refrained from calling out any opponents beyond Akiyama, stating that he is interested in fighting whoever will get him to a title shot fastest.
“It doesn’t matter to me. I know a lot of people don’t like that answer, but really whoever gets me in front of the title holder, then that’s who’s next,” he said. “I am very respectful of the UFC and their decision making process. Whoever they feel is right is who I fight.”
Marquardt and Okami meet on the main card at UFC 128 on the 19th of this month at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.