UFC middleweight fighter Nate Marquardt was planning on fighting Japanese/Korean judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama this Saturday night at UFC 128, but the recent disaster in Japan has made it impossible for Akiyama to travel to the US, forcing him to withdraw from the bout. In steps Dan Miller, who was himself preparing to face Nick Catone on the UFC 128 undercard but will now take on Marquardt.
Marquardt recently spoke with FightLine.com about the last-minute switch, explaining that he isn’t actually much fazed by the late opponent change.
“I didn’t have much reaction to it really,” Marquardt said of the announcement that he would facing Miller instead of Akiyama. “I have been preparing hard and have never turned down a fight, so whoever the UFC asks me to fight, I will. I was actually more concerned for Akiyama. I’ve seen the devastation online that Japan is suffering through. I’ve also fought over there a lot, so I’m more concerned about him and his family than who I’m fighting.”
Marquardt explained that he was too far along in training to adjust much of his approach to the fight anyway.
“We were in the final days of camp when the earthquake happened, so I just made a few adjustments and kept training,” he said.
In regards to his opponent, Marquardt gave much respect to the proven-tough Miller and said that he expects the New Jersey native to bring the fight to him come Saturday night.
“Dan Miller is a talented fighter and there are some differences about him, but nothing major,” said Marquardt, when asked to compare Miller to Akiyama. “He’s a good striker who keeps coming at you.”
Marquardt and Miller will face off this Saturday night under the “Shogun” Rua-Jon Jones light heavyweight title scrap at UFC 128 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.