At middleweight, Nate Marquardt fights the undefeated Demian Maia.
Maia has looked virtually unbeatable when it comes to jiu-jitsu. But Marquardt is, overall, the more skilled fighter and should be a lot more powerful. How Marquardt avoids or counters Maia's submission game will tell the tale of this fight.
Round 1: Well, that was quick. Maia throws a leg kick (misses), then a head kick (blocked). Maia plants to throw another kick, Marquardt times it and counters with a gigantic right hand that floors Maia. Marquardt doesn't even have to follow up with strikes on the ground, as Maia is finished.
Winner: Nate Marquardt defeats Demian Maia via KO due to a right hand at 21 seconds of Round 1.
Marquardt said he hurt his ankle before the fight and couldn't throw kicks, so he worked on that particular counter.
"I want that belt," Marquardt said. "I don't know who's getting the shot next, but if you want someone that can get in there and kick Anderson Silva's butt, then you're gonna give the shot to me."
Anderson Silva was shown on the big screen in the crowd, grinning and nodding. With Dan Henderson already in line for a shot and Silva seemingly looking to other divisions for opponents, Marquardt might have to get in line. Again. Still though, an impressive win for Nate "The Great," and a reminder that no matter how skilled you are in one discipline, this is still mixed martial arts.