Marquardt earns TKO victory but faced greasing charges from opponent
AUSTIN, Texas -- Nate Marquardt may have walked away from the Frank Erwin Center with a first-round victory over Rousimar Palhares on Wednesday night, but it was a bittersweet moment.
Marquardt, who defeated Palhares by TKO in the first round, was forced to defend himself against accusations that Marquardt's legs were greased. Palhares had secured one of his trademark leglocks on the ground, but Marquardt easily slipped out of his grip. Palhares stopped fighting and tried to get the attention of referee Herb Dean.
The momentary lapse in concentration was all Marquardt needed. The middleweight contender pounced on Palhares, finishing the bout with strikes. Marquardt was immediately cleared of any cheating concerns by Herb Dean and an official from the Texas athletic commission, but said after the fight that he wished he didn't have to defend himself in the first place.
"It's disappointing to sit here and have to defend myself over something like this," Marquardt said. "I'm not a dirty fighter and I don't cheat. I don't grease. I got a good sweat going before the fight because I wanted to be warm in case he tried for a leglock. He felt like I slipped a little bit as I turned out of the ankle lock, and he thought that I had greased or something."
The victory helps Marquardt get back on the fast track to a second title shot after a February loss to Chael Sonnen. Marquardt blames that loss on a failure to follow his gameplan, but said that no such thing occurred during the bout with Palhares.
"It was easy for me to stick to the gameplan because I knew going in that it was going to be a slow-starting fight. I think the fans will start to appreciate that I can finish a fight at any time," he said. "During those slow moments, they should be on the edge of their seat, just waiting for a knockout."
Marquardt says he's ready to fight in the next three or four months if possible, and that he only wants to fight top contenders.