There's been some recent Internet discussion as to whether middleweight Nate "The Great" Marquardt is truly deserving of his July 7 championship fight with Anderson Silva. He does, and here's a quick list why:
- Nate is a 7-time King of Pancrase!!!
- Nate holds an umblemished 4-0 UFC record with wins over Ivan Salaverry, Joe Doerkson (helluva fight), Crafton Wallace, and Dean Lister (one of the most acclaimed grapplers anywhere).
- Consider the relatively talent-thin middleweight division. If Travis Lutter got a crack at the belt, then I'd say Marquardt's shot is long overdue.
- Middleweight studs Matt "The Law" Lindland, Paul Filho, and Dan Henderson were not options.
- After one UFC fight against the grossly overmatched Chris Leben, Anderson Silva was given a title shot against Rich Franklin.
- Nate approved me as a MySpace "friend" faster than any other fighter.
I'm not quite ready to declare with any degree of certainty that Marquardt will supplant Anderson Silva atop the 185-lb. mountain at UFC 73, but by no means is such a thought outlandish. The UFC middleweight division needs a great fight - or at the very least, something to keep the fans buzzing - and I'm hoping this will be it.