Nate Marquardt returns to the UFC versus Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158

Nate Marquardt‘s career has been on what many would deem a rollercoaster ride over the past couple of years. After being dominated by Chael Sonnen in a Middleweight title eliminator all the way back in 2010,he found two wins over Rousimar Palhares and Dan Miller.

Marquardt later made the decision to move down to Welterweight. He was scheduled to face off with Rick Story after original opponent Anthony “Rumble” Johnson withdrew, but was found to have lied about his consumption of TRT, thus ‘banning’ him from the UFC ‘forever.’

But he signed on with Zuffa’s ill-fated stepchild Strikeforce, and quickly became that promotion’s Welterweight champion with a true highlight reel knockout of Tyron Woodley in the fourth round. He was favored to retain that title at Strikeforce‘s final show ever, but was upset by Tarec Saffiedine, who put Marquardt through an absolutely brutal clinic of leg kicks and striking. 

Now, the man who was banned forever makes his return to the UFC quite soon, and the promotional brass are wasting no time in throwing him to the wolves. Set to face off with top five Welterweight Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger, Marquardt has his hands full in a big way. The fight was made after news came last night that Rory MacDonald was forced to withdraw out of his co-main event tilt versus Carlos Condit, leaving Ellenberger’s opponent Johny Hendricks as the man to step in against Condit.

Both fighters have legitimate KO power, with areas of expertise in different realms of the ground game. Ellenberger utilizes his wrestling pedigree to power opponents to the mat, while Marquardt is well-known for his black belt level BJJ skills. The bout will be an interesting one on paper, as both fighters are strikers who look to finish bouts early and often.

For Ellenberger, the news comes as another disappointing setback. Set to become one of the division’s power players after defeating Diego Sanchez in a war at the very first Fuel TV event last February, Ellenberger saw his stock plummet when he lost via KO to Martin Kampmann after rocking him early in the first round. Then slated for a bout with Josh Koscheck at the canceled UFC 151, Koscheck pulled out and was replaced by the much lesser-known Jay Hieron.

Ellenberger got the decision win, and had a golden opportunity to prove he belongs at the top with a face-off against Hendricks. A win there would have silenced all the critics about Jake Ellenberger‘s game, but will a win over Marquardt provide the same boost? I highly doubt that. The Juggernaut will have to play his cards right to get the victory at UFC 158 and then once again hope for a top-level opponent to stay healthy enough to fight him.

Marquardt, however, could turn his recent loss around with a win, and beating a top five opponent like Ellenberger could somehow have him back in the mix at 170. 


10 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    February 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Interesting match-up and it's get Nate back in the ring pretty quickly, coming off of a loss. Tough fight though for someone who has struggled with good wrestlers.

    Man, this card is really moving around. However, as long as the GSP / Diaz fight goes off, great.

    Enjoy had mentioned getting Maia on that card…would be or have been nice, if it happened.

  2. Profile photo of enjoylife321

    enjoylife321

    February 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    @MMA T…

    If Nate gets a win he is definetly back in top 8 of the division. I just hope he has learnt to check more of those nasty leg kicks.

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      February 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      @ Enjoy

      The problem with Nate seems to be, that we just never know which Nate is going to show up. The beast Marquardt or the guy we just saw in his last fight, who was brutal.

      I'll pull for him 'cuz he's old school, but it's getting harder. Maybe he'll get some wins under his belt and show us all, something.

  3. Profile photo of Def_tac

    Def_tac

    February 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Glad Nate is back!!!!

  4. Profile photo of KeithFarrell

    KeithFarrell

    February 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Interesting Nate is getting the spot after coming off a shocking loss in a 5 round beating where he suffered a badly damaged leg, while Woodley just came off a first minute KO win and got some serious hype behind him.

    I guess Marquardt is still a bigger name and beat Woodley but Dana himself says your only as good as your last fight.

  5. Profile photo of DanaBlack

    DanaBlack

    February 20, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I like Marquart, but he'd better have his head on straight for this one. Another performance like his last and he'll get smashed.

  6. Profile photo of Akordas

    Akordas

    February 20, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I think this one is hard for Jake. Nate is always well rounded and have a lot weapons. I am rooting for Jake, but I think Nate got this.
    Jake will only have one round to finish him, but Nate not only have good chin but he also a good striker so its very hard to land on him.
    Still its mma, and magic happens in the cage all the time.

  7. Profile photo of GianGiacommo G

    GianGiacommo G

    February 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Tough 1st fight back for Nate,the juggernaut is no walk in the park…wonder who Saffeideine will be fighting.

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