The co-main event of UFC 109 is a fight between UFC middleweights as Nate Marquardt takes on Chael Sonnen.
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Marquardt enters this fight as the next in line for a title shot for the UFC middleweight championship, but is facing a tough test in Sonnen. Marquardt enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -350 according to online sports book Brobury Sports. Sonnen has a money line of +250. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the
Nate Marquardt (29-8-2):
Strengths: Marquardt is a very complete fighter as he started as a ground fighter, but has worked his way into a complex striker. He has tremendous cardio and he feels comfortable anywhere in the cage. He likes to bring the pressure and he has clearly improved his punching power, which was shown in his one-punch knockout of Demian Maia at UFC 102.
Weaknesses: Marquardt’s lone weakness could be that he can be a little reckless. He is constantly trying to push forward which puts him at risk of performing illegal strikes, which is what caused him to lose to Thales Leites, as he was penalized two points in the fight and lost by split decision.
Last Five Fights:
First round KO win over Demian Maia at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009
Third round RKO win over Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009
First round TKO win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 88 on Sept. 6, 2008
Split decision loss to Thales Leites at UFC 85 on June 7, 2008
Second round submission win over Jeremy Horn at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008
Chael Sonnen (23-10-1):
Strengths: Sonnen is a strong wrestler that is a good scrapper. He is tough and he doesn’t back down from any of his opponents. An ideal fight for Sonnen involves pushing his opponent against the cage and in the clinch, securing a takedown, and utilizing ground and pound to earn a stoppage victory. His strength and size have caused problems for previous opponents, including Yushin Okami, who had won nine of his last 10 fights before falling to Sonnen at UFC 104.
Weaknesses: While Sonnen is a tough fighter, he thinks he is better than he is. He still isn’t a great submission fighter and has lost by submission seven times in his career. His punching power is good, but not strong enough to knock someone out with one punch. Sonnen will need a good game plan and perfect execution to win this fight.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Yushin Okami at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009
Unanimous decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
First round submission win over Demian Maia at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009
Unanimous decision win over Paulo Filho at WEC 36 on Nov. 5, 2008
Unanimous decision win over Bryan Baker at WEC 33 on March 26, 2008
Who will win: Marquardt seems to be superior than Sonnen in any area of the fight. Sonnen may be a better wrestler and have better takedowns, but he will struggle to get the burly Marquardt down. Marquardt will use superior striking and speed on Sonnen early and then look to take him down as he tires later in the fight. Look for a submission win or win by ground and pound for Marquardt in the second round.
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Posted: 2/5/10 3:26PM ET