Nate Marquardt turned back the clock one more time.
The former Pancrase and Strikeforce champion cut down Tamdan McCrory with an overhand right and follow-up head kick 4:44 into the second round of their UFC Fight Night “Lineker vs. Dodson” pairing on Saturday at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Marquardt entered the cage as a modest +130 underdog, according to BetDSI.com. He made a mockery of those odds, as he systematically dismantled McCrory (-156).
“We worked really hard on this fight, stayed very disciplined and put a lot of work in,” said Marquardt, “so it’s very rewarding.”
Marquardt zeroed in on the outside of McCrory’s leg with kicks and integrated takedowns when given the chance. Late in round two, he buzzed “The Barn Cat” with clubbing right behind the ear and then drew the curtain with a left high kick.
“I noticed he was wobbled from the right hand, and it was close to being over right there,” Marquardt said. “I knew if I kind of rushed him he would just try to clinch and recover, so I kind of faked low with my left kick and brought it up high.”
The 37-year-old Marquardt led a parade of victorious underdogs: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+100) over Keita Nakamura (-120), John Lineker (+110) over John Dodson (-130), Zak Ottow (+210) over Joshua Burkman (-255), Alex Oliveira (+265) over Will Brooks (-329) and Brandon Moreno (+405) over Louis Smolka (-525).
In addition, Team Alpha Male export Andre Fili (+125) made the most of his opportunity as a fill-in for the injured Brian Ortega, claiming a unanimous decision over Hacran Dias (-148).
Dias was on his heels from the outset. Fili sat him down with a left hook and swarmed the Nova Uniao rep in the first round, giving him the shock-and-awe treatment. The 26-year-old countered two takedowns into top position in the middle stanza, freed himself from a Dias armbar and badgered the Brazilian standing and on the ground. Fili conceded a pair of takedowns in round three but steered clear of danger and left the cage with a decision in hand.
“Touchy” Fili has won 12 of his past 15 bouts.