Nate Marquardt file photo: Sherdog.com
Nate Marquardt was forced on the defensive seconds after his first-round TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin, Texas, after his opponent accused the Greg Jackson MMA fighter of using a greasing agent on his legs to slip out of the Brazilian’s submission lock.
Palhares, known for his success rate with leg locks, attempted to summon the referee mid-fight after Marquardt escaped the hold. But when the referee didn’t respond to pause the bout, Marquardt pounced on his distracted opponent and coaxed out a stoppage with strikes.
“I didn’t really know what he was doing,” recalled Marquardt, “but I saw his hand was kind of pointing toward the ref or something. And then he took his eyes off me and once he took his eyes off me, that’s when I jumped in.”
Drama quickly unfolded in the Octagon as Palhares protested the outcome.
“Basically after the fight he was complaining. He thought I had something slippery on my legs,” said Marquardt. “The referee, Herb Dean, wiped my legs with a paper towel and he said he was going to wait for the sweat to dry and then if there was grease left over, it would leave a mark. There was nothing left over.”
The referee wasn’t the only one to examine Marquardt post-fight.
“A commissioner came over, and with his bare hand checked my legs and said I was good to go,” said Marquardt, who moves back into title contention with the win.
Marquardt believes Palhares mistook his warm-up perspiration as a foreign substance.
“I had a good sweat going and he felt, as I turned out of the ankle lock, it slipped a little bit and he felt I had greased or something,” said the 31-year-old fighter.
In the moment, Marquardt said it was a bittersweet feeling to earn the victory.
“I was very excited for the win, but that kind of took of took a little bit out of it for me,” said Marquardt. “I was kind of disappointed to have to try and defend yourself over something like that. I’m not a dirty fighter and I don’t grease.”