Nate Marquardt: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
In a sport where the violence can often ruin game plans and composure, Nate Marquardt is one of the most impressively disciplined fighters in competition. There’s no wild haymaking, no foolish offense, and no panic. He’d make a good poster guy for transcendental meditation.
Marquardt’s problem Saturday is that Yushin Okami has a similar attitude; both men are likely to settle into a middle-gear fight with a deliberate pace. Okami can outwrestle Marquardt, but you’d expect Marquardt learned a thing or two from his loss to Chael Sonnen. Conversely, it’s going to be hard to put Okami in bad positions. This is a necessary fight, but it’s impossible to believe either guy is looking forward to it.
What It Means: For both, a chance for a place in the Anderson Silva queue.
Wild Card: Marquardt stepped in for Vitor Belfort only two months removed from his last fight. Is eight weeks enough time to recover, train, and peak for his toughest UFC bout to date?
Who Wins: Marquardt is going to have a very difficult time pushing his normal pace against Okami, who can slow things down to his liking. That said, Marquardt’s hands are just a bit sharper and his ground game a bit savvier. Marquardt in an ugly split decision.