UFC Fight Night 43 headliner Nate Marquardt joined MMAJunkie to talk about his upcoming fight with James Te Huna this weekend, his future in the middleweight division, and why God wanted him to fight at that weight. Check out the interview below:
“I just feel like that’s what God wanted me to do, was to move back up to middleweight,” Marquardt told MMAjunkie. “I’d never lost two fights in a row before, so it was actually more after the second one that I was actually kind of questioning myself.
“When I lost the third fight, I was disappointed. But at the same time, I didn’t have the same thoughts that I did after the Ellenberger fight. I felt like I understood then why I was losing, and it was because I was fighting at 170. So I made the move.”
“When I initially cut down to 170, I did feel very good and that was basically attributed to the fact I was eating clean. I was walking around a little bit lighter, so my speed went up, my strength stayed up and my explosive power was still there,” Marquardt said. “Over the time of two years at welterweight, the cut just took its toll on me. The dehydration around the fight was affecting my chin. Your ability to take a punch when you’re dehydrated is a lot lower.”
“For my workouts, I was having to eat less calories and different types of food than what I necessarily wanted to eat and what I needed to eat,” Marquardt said. “I wasn’t able to put the same effort into my workouts, so over time it just made me weaker. My training camps, compared to when I was fighting at 185, were a lot worse because I was not able to perform in my camps because of my diet.
“When you don’t recover from your workout, then the next workout you have you’re a bit slower and you’re not able to lift as much weight. Then suddenly, your whole camp turns out like that. How you train is how you fight. I also just lost strength over time.”
One of the difficulties Marquardt has had to deal with is the challenge of eating right.
“That’s definitely been a roundabout way to learn what’s going to be better for me at middleweight,” Marquardt said, “I’m walking around lighter than when I was initially fighting at 185. I still feel that quickness and that my cardio has gone up just because I’m walking around lighter. Now I’m able to completely recover from my workouts. I work out very hard, and then I can recover and work out hard again the next workout and not feel drained.”
“I had told them that I wanted to move back to middleweight, but I didn’t have any expectations on who I would be fighting,” Marquardt said. “James Te Huna, for sure, I had heard of him and even seen him, but he wasn’t somebody I paid much attention to being from the light heavyweight division. It’s a good opportunity. I think it’s an exciting matchup.”