Southwest Scene -- Leites Scared of Rematch, Says Marquardt

By Tommy Messano Jul 2, 2008
Coming off his second loss in his last ten fights, Nathan Marquardt (Pictures) has no regrets about his performance against Thales Leites (Pictures) at UFC 85 on June 7 in London. The fallout from his split decision defeat fueled debate regarding which direction MMA's unified regulations should take as the sport continues to evolve.

Marquardt and Leites fought a foul-free round one before the final ten minutes turned into a showcase of the grey areas that exist in the sport's rulebook.

"I've never seen a fight like that, never have I had a point taken away for me in any other fight. I believe this was my first," said Marquardt. "It's disappointing. Actually he got warned three times for grabbing my glove, the fence and elbowing the back of my head."

In round two with Leites posted against the fence, Marquardt landed a knee to the head while Leites was still considered to be on the ground. Referee Herb Dean (Pictures) immediately deducted a point from Marquardt.

The third round again had Marquardt on the wrong end of an infraction, this time from strikes to the back of the head. Putting himself in a two-point hole cost the Denver fighter a key win in the crowded UFC middleweight division.

"I'm happy with the way I performed. I know the fans loved it. Honestly, all the controversy over the point deductions and me losing a split decision, everybody who saw the fight knows that I won the fight," Marquardt said. "In a way it's been a blessing in disguise. It's kind of made my popularity go up because everyone is talking about it."

Now the buzz moves to a rematch between Marquardt and the Brazilian fighter. Marquardt would like nothing more than a decisive ending to a bout laced with controversy and requested a second contest before he even landed on native soil.

"I would love a rematch and I asked for it. I doubt he's going to give me a rematch. I think he's kind of scared to be honest," Marquardt said. "He got lucky and knocked me down right away and mounted me. That's his game, to get to the mount position. What better position for him to land up in? I was able to escape, get back up to my feet and have him rocked by the end of the round. I think he knows that he was kind of outclassed."

The second go-around for Marquardt-Leites could happen again across the pond at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England this October.

"I want to get back as soon as possible and for me that's two to three months," said Marquardt. "I need to take a little rest and let my body recover, than get right back into training. I want to do at least three fights this year, then maybe one at the end of the year to make it four."

Dollaway already back to training

In the week following his loss to Amir Sadollah at "The Ultimate Fighter 7" finale on June 23, CB Dollaway (Pictures) didn't give a second thought to another armbar submission. The former Arizona State University wrestling standout's summer vacation is already over and he's back on the mats of Arizona Combat Sports prepping for his Octagon return.

"After a disappointing loss like that, it almost feels like I didn't get to fight. I put a lot of time and effort into that fight, and to have it end like that really sucked. I look forward to getting back in there and putting on a show at least," Dollaway said.

Returning after a loss is something new to Dollaway, who is now 6-1 in seven pro fights. The 24-year-old fighter has been reflecting back on the reputation he gained on Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter 7" as an arrogant competitor. One of the favorites entering the middleweight brackets, Dollaway would prefer to let his game do the talking for him for a while.

"They kind of portrayed me as a little cocky and as an asshole. Anyone who knows me knows that's not how I am," said Dollaway. "They got to make people into characters and unfortunately that was the way they made me out to be. That's something you read in the contract when you sign up for the show, that they can turn you into anything they want to. The trade-off was worth it because I got the recognition for my fighting skills."

Dollaway made good on turning over a new leaf, when he quickly stomped out any controversy over his protests directly following the first-round stoppage with Sadollah.

"It was kind of a weird reaction having it stopped like that. I obviously did tap the one time; the reaction was more saying to myself ‘Damn it,'" said Dollaway. "Also, I didn't know the rule of the single tap. I did make the tapping motion so the fight should have been stopped. I was just mad at myself."

The next few weeks will allow Dollaway to train in his comfort zone with his regular training partners and coaches at AZCS.

Expect Dollaway to be back in the cage before the autumn leafs start turning.

TUF 7's Riddle joins AZCS

Fresh off his run on "The Ultimate Fighter 7" series, Matt Riddle was a man without a camp. After taping for the show wrapped up Riddle went back home to Pennsylvania in search of a major league MMA gym to join.

The 22-year-old fighter made connections with athletes from Team Quest and American Top Team while on the reality show, but it was Arizona Combat Sports' CB Dollaway who invited Riddle to sample brothers Todd and Trevor Lally (Pictures)'s coaching style out in Tempe, Ariz.

"CB's manager called me and told me he was getting me a round-trip ticket to come check out AZCS. I was like no, get me a one-way ticket; I'm moving out to Arizona," Riddle said.

From the cast of 16 contestants on the series, other than the finalists, Riddle was one of only four fighters asked to compete at the season.

"It's a couple reasons," said Riddle of his inclusion. "One because of my first fight where I broke that guy's jaw, people knew who I was because of that knockout. My fight against Tim [Credeur] was a really good fight and Tim was one of the better guys on the show. The third reason was probably personality, I guess they liked me."

Riddle is ready to pay his dues inside the UFC. The 1-0 fighter fills the very definition of a prospect that the UFC will need to bring along slowly before he is tested by some of the more seasoned fighters in the middleweight division.

"I'm just going to keep fighting in the UFC until they tell me not to. I think I'm at the level where I belong," said Riddle. "I do make little mistakes, but I'm a really good wrestler and I have a lot of good attributes for the sport."

Boxing-MMA Card Hits Houston

On July 18, South Coast promotions will hold a hybrid boxing-MMA fight card inside the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. The card is top-heavy with boxing legends Hector Camacho and Christy Martin each staging their respective comeback bouts.

Local MMA fighters Jonathan Brookins and Renegades Extreme Fighting mainstay Jose Santibanez square off in a notable undercard affair. The rest of the MMA matchups feature a blend of veterans and newcomers to the sport.
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