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The MMA Top Ten: 6.29.14: Top 10 Nate Marquardt Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 06.30.2014

Nate Marquardt's Top Ten Fights

Hey there readers, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at Nate Marquardt and of course his ten best fights. Marquardt has been fighting since 1999 and was in action this weekend so he gets the nod in this week's column. A former Pancrase and Strikeforce champion, Marquardt now has a 33-13-2 record. He saved his job this weekend and I wouldn't be shocked if he were to climb to the top of the UFC's middleweight rankings again. The fights are ranked based on the usual criteria of fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion.

Honorable Mentions:
VS Wilson Gouveia UFC 95- Won via third round TKO.
VS Shonie Carter Pancrase 2000 Anniversary Show- Won via unanimous decision.
10: VS Dean Lister UFN 8

Dean Lister and Nate Marquardt first competed against each other back in 2003 at the ADCC grappling tournament. Lister would submit Marquardt and go on to win gold in the absolute division. They had their rematch on the prelims of UFC Fight Night 8 in 2007. Both were undefeated in the UFC at this point too. This one went in Marquardt's favor as he dominated in one of the most one sided beat down's you'll ever see. The three judges scored it 30-27, 30-25, and 30-25. Marquardt improved to 4-0 in the UFC and his performance was so impressive that he was given a title shot against Anderson Silva.

9: VS Martin Kampmann UFC 88

Martin Kampmann is currently one of the best welterweights in the world, but he used to be a pretty good middleweight too. He went 13-1 at 185 lbs and won his first four in the UFC over guys like Thales Leites and Jorge Rivera. Solid fighters, but Marquardt was a huge jump up in competition that Kampmann wasn't ready for. In 82 seconds Marquardt connected with an awesome highlight reel headkick and then followed it up with strikes to end it. This would be Kampmann's last fight at middleweight.

8: VS James Te Huna UFN 43

His most recent fight was actually one of the most important ones of his career. Marquardt came into this past weekend on a three fight losing streak that included two brutal knockout losses. So he made the move back up to middleweight with his job on the line. His opponent was James Te Huna who was making his middleweight debut, but was in title contention at 205 lbs only last year so he was a tough opponent. Marqardt locked in an armbar for the win with less than thirty seconds left in the first round. This was his sixteenth submission win of his career and now Te Huna will most likely fighting for his job in his next fight.

7: VS Dan Miller UFC128

Marquardt lost to Yushin Okami at UFC 122 in a number one contender fight and it severely hurt his stock in the UFC. Not only was he knocked out of title contention, but even Dana White was calling him a choker at this point. Marquardt was originally supposed to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama here, but he pulled out of the fight and Dan Miller stepped up on a week's notice. Miller has never been a great fight, but he generally only loses to some of the best and he was on a two fight winning streak at this point. The first round had a slow pace on the ground, but it was close as both fighters scored takedowns. Marquardt then decisively took the next two rounds as he was clearly the better fighter standing up striking and with his ground & pound. This would be his last fight in the UFC until he returned two years later in 2013.

6: VS Jeremy Horn UFC 81

Jeremy returned to action in April for the first time since November 2011. He won his 90th fight of his career and his 62nd fight by submission. A two time UFC number one contender and maybe one of the best grapplers of all time. In his final UFC run, Horn took on Marquardt in his first fight since unsuccessfully challenging Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 73. Marquardt showed off his own impressive submission skills as he submitted Horn with a guillotine choke in the second round. A big win for Nate as he defeated a fighter that was once near the top of the sport and he kept himself at the top of the UFC's middleweight division.

5: VS Demian Maia UFC 102
Fight Night Auckland Free Fight: Nate Marquardt... by UFC

This fight was really important for both men as they were trying to get into title contention. Marquardt was on a two fight winning streak and rebuilding himself after his semi controversial loss to Thales Leites at UFC 85. Demian Maia was 11-0 at this point and just submitted Chael Sonnen in his last fight. Marquardt needed only 21 seconds to connect with a counter right hand as Maia was trying to kick him. Maia went down and Marquardt could have laid in some more shots to really hurt him, but he held off as he knew it was over.

4: VS Joe Doerksen UFC 58
 photo 51E-nCytVhL.jpg

Nate Marquardt's debut at the first Fight Night show was not very good. He won, but the fight was incredibly dull and he tested positive for steroids afterwards. After that all cleared up, he took on Canadian veteran Joe Doerksen. This was one of many Canadian versus American fights that night and it was really good. Not only did both guys beat the puss out of each other for three rounds, but their transitions and reversals on the ground during their grappling exchanges were just awesome to watch. It was a close competitive fight and I thought Doerksen took the second round with his huge knockdown, but all three judges scored it 30-27 for Marquardt.

3:VS Rousimar Palhares UFN 22

Who doesn't enjoy watching Rousimar Palhares getting the crap beat out of him? This was Marquardt's first fight since getting kicked out of the title picture by Chael Sonnen and Palhares' first fight since he was suspended for holding onto a heel hook for too long. Palhares was able to take the fight to the ground and he went for his signature heel hook, but Marquardt was able to slip out and get up. Instead of getting to his feet, Palhares decided to bitch to the referee and accuse Marquardt of greasing. Marquardt capitalized and connected with a barrage of punches while he was complaining to end it. Marquardt later admitted he just wanted to be really sweaty for the fight.

2: VS Kazuo Misaki Pancrase

Before coming over to the UFC, Marquardt was one of the best fighters over in Pancrase. A 2000 King of Pancrase Middleweight Tournament Champion, 2002 Pancrase Spirit Tour Champion, and thee time Pancrase Middleweight Champion. My favorite fight of his during this time was one of his last ones against Kazuo Misaki. This was for the vacant middleweight title after Ricardo Almeida left the company and this was a rematch. They first fought in March 2002, but the fight ended in only 29 seconds after Misaki broke his arm. This time Marquardt won by unanimous decision and he would defend the title one more time before coming over to the Octagon.

1: VS Tyron Woodley Strikeforce

Marquardt would leave the UFC in disappointing and controversial fashion in 2010, but he returned sixteen months later to compete for Strikeforce's vacant welterweight title. It was his first fight in the company and at 170 lbs, but there really wasn't anybody else at that point as the division became incredibly shallow without Nick Diaz. His opponent was the then undefeated Tyron Woodley. The two were having one of the best fights of 2012 into the fourth round when Marquardt had Woodley up against and he started throwing elbows like they were punches. This was one of my favorite knockouts of all time as Marquardt became the new Strikeforce welterweight champion.

So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.


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