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Demian Maia vs. Nathan Marquardt at UFC 102

In a bout that will more than likely determine the #1 contender for the UFC’s middleweight title, Demian Maia will take on Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 which is tentatively scheduled for August 29th and will be held in Portland, Oregon. was the first to report the bout between the two middleweight dynamos on its website earlier today.

Speculation has been running rampant about who would face Anderson Silva next with the winner of Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson also under consideration after their bout at UFC 100 in July.

Marquardt is coming off an impressive third round TKO over Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95. Maia scored his tenth win in as many fights as well as his fifth submission victory in as many UFC fights on the same card against former WEC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen. This fight has been talked about for some time now as well as both men seemed to have valid claims to be the #1 contender to Silva’s title.

Maia may have been hurt a bit by the poor performance put on by fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Thales Leites at UFC 97 against Silva. Leites showed absolutely no desire to fight Silva and many fans and pundits alike believed that Maia although a more talented fighter than Leites was too similar and that the UFC would want to avoid a repeat performance in a Silva title fight.

Marquardt has had a shot at Silva back at UFC 73 in July of 2007 but was stopped by TKO in the first round. He has seemed to improve all aspects of his game while under the tutelage of Greg Jackson and many believe he would offer Silva a much better fight the second time around. Marquardt is 3-1 since his fight with Silva losing a controversial split decision to Leites at UFC 85 in June of 2008, Marquardt was penalized two points during that bout. One point was deducted for kneeing in the head while he was still on the ground and the second point was deducted for Marquardt hitting Leites on the back of the head. Referee Herb Dean was heavily criticized for taking that point away.

UFC 102 is to be headlined by a battle of former UFC heavyweight champions as Randy Couture will face former PRIDE superstar Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera. Also set to appear on this card are local fighters Chael Sonnen who will take on Wilson Gouveia, a returning Chris Leben will battle Jake Rosholt and Junior Dos Santos will battle Justin McCully.

  • wardog says:

    I am more interested in this fight than the Couture vs. Noguiera fight! I have been waiting for Maia to jump up and Nate is a guy I wanted to see him fight (mainly because he’s been running his mouth). I think Leites’s fight shows nothing in terms of Maia who practices a more attacking form of BJJ. This should be a good one.

  • Stan says:

    I’m not sure any level of attacking BJJ would be able to negate Silva’s defensive BJJ. I also don’t see someone one-dimensional (even as freakishly amazing as that one dimension is with Maia) being able to close the gap and get a hold of Silva. Flying scissor heel hooks aside, its hard to see where Maia wins that fight.

    One thing that’s interesting about Maia though is that none of the 5 guys he’s submitted in the UFC has any real grappling pedigree. Jason McDonald is no slouch, although Maia was clearly light years ahead of him in that fight. Marquardt is a solid, but not great jiu-jitsu practioner.

    I still would like to see if Maia can submit someone like Ricardo Almeida. Submitting decent grapplers is one thing, submitting the best of the best is an entirely different matter.

  • Rich S. says:

    this is the biggest test either of these guys has had in a while now.. biggest to date for Maia.. I think Maia’s finally going to lose.. Nate just seems invincible to me..

  • slayer6 says:

    The UFC makes no sense at all at times! They give guys like Patrick Cote and then Leites shots at the champ but make guys like Maia with 5 straight wins(all very impressive i might add) fight for a #1 contender spot? This reminds me of when Diego was tearing through the WW division but just couldnt get a title shot. Demian should be the next MW to fight Anderson! Nate had his chance, and has lost once since then. Maia has won 5 straight in the UFC and deserves to be in the cage with the best. The UFC just frustrates the hell out of me sometimes.

  • Handover Fist says:

    The 185 division is paper thin but both of these guys can give Silva trouble. Having them fight each other just doesn’t make any sense. I’m confident either of these guys would try more then one takedown in 5 rounds.

  • Stan says:

    “They give guys like Patrick Cote and then Leites shots at the champ but make guys like Maia with 5 straight wins(all very impressive i might add) fight for a #1 contender spot?”

    Going into his title shot Leites had won 5 in a row as well. And had a more impressive win over a top 5 opponent in Marquardt (albeit a decision on docked points). Maia still doesn’t have that level of win on his resume.

    Cote had won 4 in a row going into his title fight. The UFC had matched him with Almeida in a “#1 contender” fight, expecting Almeida to handle him easily. When Cote managed a split decision, they reluctantly made the fight with Silva. I remember Dana White saying that with as lackluster as the Cote-Almeida fight had been, he regretted promising a title shot to the winner before hand.

  • ctownhood says:

    Stan, you’re kidding about Nate not being a jiu jitsu practitioner, right? He started bjj as a teenager. From Nate’s Wiki page:

    Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Murgel

    Of his 28 wins, 15 are by submission, with only 5 coming by way of KO. He’s much more of a grappler than a striker

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i was gonna say, Nate has some wicked bjj, its only really recentley ive noticed his striking improving greatly. I do think, currently, Nate is the biggest threat to Andersons crown.
    And im glad there is a proper contender fight, nate vs meia, hendo vs bisping. im putting money on Anderson Silva losing his belt this year, and i think Nate will be the one to do it. if he can get past Meia. I prefer Nate to beat Silva than Meia, but i think i might fancy Meia to beat Nate. ya get me?

  • Stan says:

    Yeah, it’s probably wrong to only call his bjj “solid” but I tend to think of him more as a well-rounded ground game guy than a bjj guy. I really only meant it was just solid in comparison to guys like Almeida (who submitted Marquardt in 2003) and Maia.

    I suppose while he was rather quickly and easily submitted by Dean Lister at ADCC in 2003, he did manage to stay out of trouble for a decision when they met in the UFC. His submission defense is very good, only being submitted by Genki Sudo and Almeida in his 40 fights. I should probably refer to Marquardt’s ground game as Superb, and Maia and Almeida as Super Duper.

  • Rich S. says:

    I’d say Nate HAS come to the point where i’d consider him a striker..
    He’s kind of like Koscheck..
    He has sick wrestling and BJJ, that no one else in the MW division right now can hang with.. at least, no one that has faced him..
    Yet, now, he’s knocking all his opponents out..
    He knocked out both Kampmann and Gouviea, who, as well as great all around fighters, are dominant strikers..
    It seems as though he only takes the takedown when it’s given to him now.. and prefers standing..

    I’m sure facing Anderson Silva would change that mentality though..

  • Angry Mike says:

    I’ll bet Marquardt keeps it standing, or at least tries to. He’s bigger, stronger, and has better hands than Maia. Why play to Maia’s strength? Better to attack his weakness.

  • Kickastronaut says:

    “Going into his title shot Leites had won 5 in a row as well. And had a more impressive win over a top 5 opponent in Marquardt (albeit a decision on docked points). Maia still doesn’t have that level of win on his resume.”

    I’ll totally agree that Nate is his biggest test by far, but I’m a Maia fan, have been for a while. (what can I say, I like BJJ practitioners… except Penn) But Maia is the only person to get three straight subs of the night and he did it in his first three fights. Tells us right away he doesn’t deserve to be ranked low. Plus after not getting a sub of the night against Nate Quarry (even though he submitted him too.) He comes back and tags another against Sonnen. But then again Sonnen’s pretty suspect when it comes to sub victims.

    Anyways, this guys grappled with some of the best grapplers in his weight class in other tournaments. His list of victiories is impressive. (He’s beaten Okami and Leites in competition.)Plus the thing that I believe sets him slightly aside from other BJJ artists is his training in Judo. I think his judo matches well with his style because he’s rather quick at clinching. Youtube the fight with Ryan Stout and see that Stout throws a punch, and before it’s even followed through, Maia had him grabbed, and then down. Props for Stout getting on top of him, but that didn’t last long as Maia reversed him and popped out his shoulder in the first.

    Overall, I’m a Maia fan, my best friend is a Nate fan. There’s been a bet placed already.


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