Nate Marquardt is scheduled to make his welterweight debut this June against Anthony Johnson in a marquee bout to be broadcast live on the Versus network, but the longtime top middleweight didn’t meet the decision to change weight classes without first dealing with some trepidation.
Marquardt’s friend and training partner Georges St. Pierre is currently dominating the UFC’s 170lbs. division and Marquardt was hesitant to make a run for a championship where his buddy had set up shop — though Marquardt recently told ESPN.com that it was St. Pierre who eventually urged him to follow through and make the switch.
“Actually, he brought it up to me,” Marquardt said. “He asked me what I was walking around at and said, ‘Wow. You should drop to 170.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. You’re the champion there. I want to be a champion’. He told me not to worry about it, that if that’s what is best for me I have to do it. I didn’t even think about it until he said it. Once I went back to my own camp, it made sense to me.”
Marquardt added that, in regards to fighting each other over the title, he and St. Pierre would basically cross that bridge when they get there should it ever come to that
The 32-year-old, Colorado-stationed fighter also offered some interesting insight into St. Pierre’s own cross-divisional plans.
“I don’t know if [St. Pierre] is planning on moving up but I definitely know he’s considering fighting Anderson,” he said. “I think that’s a great fight and I think he has the perfect style to beat a guy like Silva.”
Marquardt has his first fight at 170lbs. this June 26th at UFC LIVE: Marquardt vs. Johnson, which will take place at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.