Saturday night’s fight between Tyron Woodley and Nate Marquardt proves that Nate is definitely a new driving force in the welterweight division. With a devastating knockout to win the Strikeforce title, Nate The Great needs to be watched closely in upcoming fights.
Nate is a former challenger in the middle weight UFC division and has ranked in the top five as a 185 pounder for quite some years. He’s now moving up the rankings as a 170-pound force that deserves some serious recognition.
Woodley has been previously undefeated and this knockout is definitely one of 2012′s best so far. Past opponents for Marquardt include Dan Miller and Maia in middleweight competitions, who later on became successful in welterweight, and it’s possible that this Great Nate will accomplish even more.
This was a comeback performance that saw Marquardt on his back at one point but got back onto his feet using an arm bar. Woodley also staggered Nate at one point with a solid punch but Marquardt’s determinism brought him back to life.
This was Marquardt’s first fight in welterweight and he hadn’t entered the competition ring for 16 months. He was able to land 58% of the strikes, which included the grand finale finish.
The question of the day is who will fight Marquardt for his first defense of his newfound title? Jordan Mein is definitely one of the possibilities after a good performance on Saturday, as is Kazuo Misaki.
Hopefully the past won’t come back to haunt this emerging new welterweight force. Last June he was prepared to begin his debut as a welterweight fighting Rick Story, but could not be cleared due to high testosterone levels. The UFC went on to cut him and he was suspended from competing. This suspension was lifted after three weeks but damage control already needed to be put into place. Only time will give the answer for this rising competitor as to his future opportunities.
For now though, welterweights need to take cover. Nate the great is returning in full force and will be a vengeance to be reckoned with.