Nate Marquardt has never fought a rematch in his 12-year-long UFC career, but that run may soon come to an end.
The former UFC middleweight title challenger and former Strikeforce welterweight champion wants a second crack at the man that defeated him last weekend – Vitor Belfort. The two MMA veterans battled in a middleweight contest in the main card of UFC 212, which took place last Saturday at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After three rounds of fighting, the three judges in charge of the verdict scored the fight 29-28 for the Brazilian.
The decision was a controversial call in many’s eyes, including Marquardt himself.
“Yeah, I was very surprised,” Marquardt told MMA Fighting regarding his decision loss to Belfort. “I thought I clearly won rounds one and two, and I watched the fight, and even in round three he won the round more on just, you know, him going forward because he knew he had lost the first two rounds. And as far as punches and kicks landed, I landed more punches and kicks in the third round, he just had that one little flurry at the end but even then I fought out of that and was able to land at the end of the fight. So yeah, I was very surprised and shocked.”
Marquardt felt confident he had done enough to get a win over the MMA legend as soon as the fight was over and both fighters were getting ready for the announcement of the score cards. But avoiding kicks, punches, and other dangerous strikes may sometimes get in the way of properly assessing a fight, and that’s why Marquardt went back and reviewed his fight twice in case his judgement was skewed. Yet, after carefully analyzing his bout with Belfort, Marquardt’s opinion remained the same.
“So watching the fight didn’t really change my perspective,” Marquardt explained. “I was kind of curious because maybe it looked different than it felt, you know. In the fight, I felt like I was winning pretty much every second of the rounds, you know. He only caught me with a couple of punches, and the only thing that appeared differently from being in the fight than watching it from the outside was the crowd.
“Every time he would throw a kick – I would block every single one of them, he didn’t land one – the crowd would just cheer so loud, and I don’t know if that has anything to do with the judging, but I wouldn’t think so because al the websites had me winning the fight. So I mean, I don’t know. I guess obviously looking back, there’s things you could’ve done or mistakes that I made, but all-in-all, I fought very well and felt like I was the victor.”
Having left Rio de Janeiro with no injuries and a sour taste in his mouth, the 38-year-old Marquardt would like run back his fight with the Brazilian.
“Honestly, I really wish and it be awesome to fight him again,” Marquardt said. “I don’t know if that’s even a possibility, but honestly, if I were him, I wouldn’t be happy with that win. I heard him in an interview and he said he felt he dominated the fight. I don’t know if he’s saying that because he knew he had lost the fight, and he was trying to act confident or what, but at no point in the fight he was close to winning. I mean, he caught me with a couple of punches, but other than that, I was dominating the fight and at no point he was close to finishing me. I rocked him on multiple occasions in the fight, so I honestly just wish we were able to do it again and settle it.
“I would to do it right now, like tomorrow, but for him I dont know, I’m guessig he’d be reluctant. After the fight, you could just look into his eyes and he knew he had lost the fight, so I’d be surprised if he took the fight, but I’d love it because I think it was a great technical fight, it was a good fight for the fans, and like I said, I think we should settle it because I think I clearly won and everyone watching the fight thought I won too.”
Marquardt will be asking the UFC brass and will try to push for a rematch with Belfort before the end of the year. However, this time around, the American wouldn’t want the fight to be in Belfort’s home country, but rather somewhere neutral how it was originally planned.
“I think that would be fair,” Marquardt said. “And that was part of the thing, when he said that it would be his retirement fight, we were originally supposed to fight in Singapore [at UFC Fight Night 111 in June] and I thought that was great, kinda neutral territory. But then they moved it to Rio, and it was kind of like a last minute thing, we were already like five weeks out and they basically said that that’s where the fight was going to be, and I had to do it anyways. I think it’d be fair if [the rematch] would be in the U.S.”
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