Marquardt on St. Pierre Fight: "Of Course"
It looks like Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is going to get an immediate title shot upon entering the UFC, so why shouldn't the promotion's welterweight champion receive one as well?
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Nate Marquardt expressed great interest in fighting the winner of UFC 158's main event between welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and top contender Nick Diaz, even though it is common knowledge that St. Pierre and Marquardt have trained together for some time now.
And if the UFC says no?
That's just fine for the humble, soft-spoken Marquardt. He went on to say that he would be perfectly satisfied if his first opponent in the UFC was any one of the winners of the three welterweight showdowns at the event in Montreal this March. After first being asked about facing whoever emerges with the belt at UFC 158, Nate "The Great" had this to say:
"Of course, yeah (laughs). Honestly man, anyone of those welterweights on that card, that card is stacked and any one of the three that win, that's who I want to fight. Obviously, I'd rather not fight Georges. He's my friend and training partner for a long time now. But, like I said before, I'm not in the position to be turning down fights, so. I'd rather not fight him, but, I'm not going to turn down any fights."
It would appear that the only man standing in the way of Marquardt's title shot is Johny Hendricks, who many believe is the true number one contender, having beaten three top-tier welterweights in a row. If Hendricks fails to get through Jake Ellenberger, however, Nate's request may be granted sooner than imagined.
Regardless of what is on the line, it's safe to say that just about every welterweight competing at UFC 158 would be a valid test for Marquardt's return to the UFC. Most would agree that a definitive victory over any of these fighters would earn him a spot among the best in the world at 170 lbs, where a meeting with good friend Georges St. Pierre may very well be inevitable.
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