Marquardt vs. Maia

A feature bout of UFC 102 on Saturday, Aug. 29 will be between top middleweight contenders Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia.

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Marquardt is the favorite heading into the fight with a betting line of -180 while Maia has a line of +150 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this fight, which will take place from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore.

Nate Marquardt (31-8-2 MMA Record):

Strengths: Marquardt is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC today. Marquardt is a very complete package with great striking, great wrestling, great cardio, and great strength. Marquardt pushes a fast pace in his fights and likes to make his opponents uncomfortable by continually pressing forward. There isn’t a position Marquardt can be put in where he won’t feel comfortable.

Weaknesses: The only thing that has hurt Marquardt’s career is sometimes he can be reckless. Marquardt lost two points in a fight against Thales Leites for illegal blows, which cost him the decision by the end of the fight. Marquardt’s only other loss came against middleweight champion Anderson Silva and that was from a punch by Silva while Marquardt was on his back, a position he is rarely in.

Last Five Fights:

Third round TKO 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

First round TKO loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007

              

Demian Maia (11-0 MMA Record):

Strengths: Maia is one of the best submission fighters in the world today and all five of his UFC victories are by submission, three of which came in the first round. Once Maia gets fighters to the ground, he makes short work of them and scores a submission.

Weaknesses: Maia’s standup is not where it needs to be to become a world champion. He clearly needs to submit someone to win the fight, which could be a problem against Marquardt. Maia also hasn’t been tested by the best, with this fight being his greatest challenge to date. Handling the pressure of a marquee fight is always a challenge.

Last Five Fights:

First round submission win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

First round submission win over Nate Quarry at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008

Third round submission win over Jason MacDonald at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008

Second round submission win over Ed Herman at UFC 83 on April 19, 2008

First round submission win over Ryan Jensen at UFC 77 on Oct. 20, 2007

 

Who will win: The winner of this fight will have a title fight next for the middleweight championship and I think Marquardt has the edge. Again, Maia has a glaring weakness in his striking which will be a problem against Marquardt, who is difficult to take down. If Marquardt takes the fight to the ground, Maia could score a submission, but I expect Marquardt to use superior striking on his feet to score a TKO victory in round three.

Additional Line: Over/Under 7 minutes for fight length. Under (-120) Over (-120)

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Posted: 8/25/09 8:51PM ET

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