Nate Marquardt is being put through the mental meat grinder. It's been the story around much of his UFC career. Tonight at Ultimate Fight Night 22, he's got two mental hurdles to cross. Rousimar Palhares isn't exactly the "title contender or holder" Marquardt thought he'd be facing at this point in his career and the Brazilian's questionable tactics on the mat can play mind games with any opponent.
Marquardt and Palhares both made weight yesterday in anticipation of their main event bout at UFN 22 and now it's time to see what unfolds if the fight hits the floor. That's basically Palhares' only shot at pulling the upset. But if it gets down there, the guy has developed a reputation as a beast who'll attempt to take a limb home, legally or not.
"I don't care about that, to really be honest," Marquardt told Tristen Critchfield from Sherdog. "The way I think about it is that any time someone goes for a submission hold, or a joint lock or whatever it is, they're putting your body in danger. So I defend it with everything that I have. I don't need to worry about what he's done in his past fights because I'm not going to allow him to catch me."
Palhares (11-2, 4-1 UFC) has more than a rep, he's already paid the price for dirty tactics. At UFC 111, he refused to let go of a heel hook on Tomasz Drwal. The Pole yelped in pain (pictured above) and was lucky to walk away without long term damage. New Jersey handed down a 90-day suspension to Palhares.
It's got to be in the back of any fighter's mind that Palhares is more than willing to end someone's career if necessary. Marquardt said he won't let it affect him and if it's time to hit the deck, it'll go down there.
"I'm leaving the option open to go to the ground if necessary; I'm not afraid of going to the ground with a guy like that," Marquardt (30-8, 8-3 UFC) told ESPN U.K. "I've fought three high-level grapplers in my career, he is dangerous and I have a huge advantage on the feet, but at the same time if I see the takedown and the chance to ground and pound him, I'll go for it."
Nineteen fighters hit the scales without an issue. Efrain Escudero was the lone exception on the card. He came in at an obscene 159 pounds for a bout at 155. He forfeits 20 percent of his purse against Charles Oliveira.
Ultimate Fight Night 22 weigh-in (Courtesy MMA Junkie)
Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Rousimar Palhares (186)
Efrain Escudero (159) vs. Charles Oliveira (154)
Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Gleison Tibau (154)
Cole Miller (156) vs. Ross Pearson (156)
John Gunderson (156) vs. Yves Edwards (155)
Jared Hamman (205) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (206)
Dave Branch (186) vs. Tomasz Drwal (185.5)
Rich Attonito (185) vs. Rafael Natal (186)
David Mitchell (170.5) vs. Anthony Waldburger (171)
Brian Foster (170.5) vs. Forrest Petz (170)