Nate Marquardt came to fight in his first middleweight bout since early 2011. He came to fight from the opening bell right up until the finish. He dictated the pace and dished out the punishment. He looked like the Nate Marquardt of old. He looked like the #1 middleweight contender/King of Pancrase that we all thought may have left the building following his two recent KO losses. He looked like a man possessed, yet calculated; a man who was not ready to turn the first 3 fight losing streak of his career into a 4 fight losing streak that would likely earn him a pink slip.
Marquardt landed a right hand to the jaw of Te Huna just 3 seconds into the round. This range finder of a shot allowed him to back off a bit and throw a switch kick that would be blocked by Te Huna. He would then swing and miss on a right, and Te Huna would do a mini reset. Te Huna came forward only to eat a left kick that was partially blocked. Te Huna backs his opponent against the cage with some quick feints and Marquardt fires off another left kick that is again blocked. Marquardt misses with a right left combo. A push kick to the chest from Marquardt lands and now Te Huna is backing him up against the cage. Marquardt is circling backwards to his right and lands a nice right hand. They move into the clinch and Marquardt lands a HUGE right knee of the lightning quick variety. If you blinked, you missed it. Te Huna goes down but gets back up quickly looking to either land a double leg on Nate and/or recover for a moment. He lifts Nate up in an attempt to slam him but Nate’s balance is on point. He’s able to counter and land a Japanese whizzer (thank you Ken Flo), now finding himself in the closed guard of Te Huna. We are only 40 seconds into the fight guys. What a pace.
Te Huna opens his guard and Nate lands some nice GNP. Back into the closed guard now as Te Huna isn’t enjoying getting punched in the face. He looks to do some hand fighting but the experienced Marquardt adjusts and lands some nasty elbows. Marquardt moves into half guard to set up a submission on his now bloodied opponent. Those elbows did a number. We are back to the feet now and Marquardt lands an elbow and a knee, while Te Huna lands a couple of knees of his own and he is backed up against the cage in the clinch. Te Huna reverses and now has Marquardt against the cage. In his best sequence of the fight, Te Huna throws a left that grazes the side of Marquardt’s head, lands a nasty right uppercut flush, then throws a right, a left, and another right uppercut. They all land. He misses wildly with another uppercut and it appears for a moment that Marquardt may be in danger of being KO’ed for a third straight time. Some more head and hand fighting against the cage and Marquardt seems to have recovered. Marquardt reverses while holding a body lock and takes full advantage of what looks like a missed trip by Te Huna. This is an example of one bad move sealing your doom after getting some nice momentum going. Marquardt now has Te Huna mounted and is landing some rights to soften him up a little as he moves him away from the cage. Te Huna is working with his hands from his back but isn’t able to do anything with his body. Marquardt’s ground control is suffocating. Speaking of suffocating, Marquardt has now put his right arm over the mouth of Te Huna to disturb his breathing pattern.
With just under a minute left now, Te Huna is in survival mode. He’s leaking from the face and Marquardt is landing more shots. These aren’t kill shots, but they aren’t fun. Marquardt postures up and Te Huna looks to get out but it just isn’t happening. Now he’s given up his back. Again, Te Huna looks to buck Marquardt off but he’s like glue. Nate then transitions to a armbar from his back and Te Huna taps quickly. It was a thing of beauty. And we have the highlight and post-fight interview below.