Perennial 185lbs. contender Nate Marquardt picked up his tenth win inside the UFC’s middleweight division Saturday night by defeating Dan Miller over three rounds, but despite his success there, he recently told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that he is considering making a drop down to the welterweight division.
“(Michael) Bisping would be a great fight, I would take that any day,” Marquardt said when asked by Helwani what his plan is for his next fight. “There’s still a lot of fights at ’85 that I want but one thing I talked to my coaches (about) before this fight–and a couple of my teammates, like Georges St. Pierre–we talked about me cutting down to 170, because I was walking around really light, basically at the same weight Georges walks around at. I think it’s something that I’d like to try out if it’s a good fit, then go for the title there.”
Marquardt isn’t looking at the move as his only option, even expressing interest in several fights (mostly rematches of fights he lost) at middleweight.
“Like I said, I could go to 170 and be happy and I think I would be able to get the title there and I think I could do it at 185,” he said. “There’s a few fights that I definitely want at 185, eventually or soon, whenever it is. I’d like to fight Bisping, I’d like to fight (Anderson) Silva, Chael Sonnen, (Yushin) Okami, there’s still a lot of fights actually.”
Marquardt has taken flak in the past from UFC president Dana White for falling short when it matters most, as he has lost to Silva in a title fight and to Sonnen and Okami in title eliminator bouts, but “The Great” maintained that his occasional shortcomings at middleweight are not his motivation for changing divisions.
“Honestly, it’s more about how I feel. When I’m walking around lighter I just feel like I can go all day long, I feel like an animal,” he said. “I don’t feel like I get tired–even when I get tired I just keep going and I don’t feel like I need to rest.”
When pressed to predict his immediate next move, Marquardt said that he sees himself staying at middleweight for at least one more fight in order to settle his score against Michael Bisping.
“I guess that depends on what Dana says,” Marquardt said. “If I had to guess I would probably say–you know, I think they’ll let me drop down to 170 but they might want me to beat up Michael Bisping first.”