01-09-2013, 05:16 PM
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| | Marquardt plans continued work with St-Pierre despite potential for future fight
Marquardt plans continued work with St-Pierre despite potential for future fight | News
While Nate Marquardt (32-10-2 MMA, 1-0 SF) has Tarec Saffiedine (13-3 MMA, 3-1 SF) ahead of him at this weekend's Strikeforce event, most pundits assume his return to the UFC is a given. |
That could mean his path leads directly to teammate and current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. With that in mind, you might assume Marquardt would look to distance himself from the French-Canadian kingpin, but that's hardly the case.
"Georges is my friend," Marquardt told MMAjunkie.com Radio (MMA Radio, UFC Radio - MMAjunkie Radio). "We've been teammates since before he was champ, since before he fought Matt Hughes the second time. I don't see that changing."
When Marquardt and St-Pierre first began working together as extended teammates under the Greg Jackson umbrella, they were competing in different divisions. Marquardt was just starting his run in the UFC's middleweight division. He would later come up short in his lone bid to unseat longtime champion Anderson Silva. Years later, he wound up dropping to 170 pounds and capturing Strikeforce's welterweight belt.
In an odd twist, it was actually St-Pierre who recommended the change in class.
"When I fought Dan Miller, I went up there to train with [St-Pierre], and he was like, 'Man, you should consider fighting at 170. You're lighter now, and you feel good,'" Marquardt recalled. "He kind of put it in my ear, and I tested some things out, and it got my weight a little lower than normal, and I felt better."
After that fight, which he won via unanimous decision, Marquardt made the decision to drop to 170 pounds. He was expected to debut in the division in June 2011 but was infamously pulled from the planned UFC appearance when he was not granted medical clearance from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission – an incident that led to Marquardt's release from the promotion.
His welterweight debut finally came this past July, and he looked spectacular in a fourth-round knockout of then-undefeated Tyron Woodley en route to claiming the Strikeforce belt.
Saturday, Marquardt fights in the final bout in Strikeforce history, as he headlines "Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine," which takes place at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena and airs on Showtime and Showtime Extreme. Marqaurdt is a heavy favorite in the matchup with bookmakers installing him as nearly a 3-to-1 favorite. Marquardt admits he also evaluates himself as the better fighter, but he insists that's no different than he views any opponent.
"Honestly, I don't think there's any fighter I would look at and it would be different," Marquardt said. "Every fighter has their strengths, and every fighter has their weaknesses and things to expose. Tarec's a very good striker. He's got really slick head kicks, good combinations, good counters, good takedown defense. He scrambles well. He gets up well, and he's tough. I never saw him get finished. But I'm ready for this fight just like I was for Tyron. I know how tough he is, and shoot, I'm just ready to go out there and perform."
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
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