Nate Marquardt's destruction of the very game Martin Kampmann (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at UFC 88 has put the rest of the middleweight division on notice and cemented his status as a top contender.
It's also got Marquardt (27-8-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) thinking about a potential rematch with current champ Anderson Silva.
Marquardt discussed this past weekend's fight and the possibility of second bout with Silva while a guest on Monday’s edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I felt good during the fight, confident during the fight," Marquardt said of his win over Kampmann. "I just went in and did my game plan."
Many had predicted Marquardt a favorite over the Danish kickboxer, but nobody could have expected the sheer ferocity and the ease with which the Team Jackson member would finish off such a seasoned fighter. Marquardt, sometimes dogged for dragging fights to decisions, has now earned stoppage victories in three of his past four victories.
"When the opportunity is there, I want to take it," Marquardt said. "I have fought a lot of tough guys, but I think I am getting a lot better at being able to finish fights."
Now a mature 29 years old, Marquardt admits he's become a lot more comfortable and patient in the cage. In the past, at the first sign of blood, Marquardt would sometimes launch into a frantic and wild game plan as he chased his opponents.
"I would hurt them, but I would get so excited and just throw wild punches and not land," he said. "In this fight when I had him hurt, I took my time and tried to land my punches."
With a UFC middleweight division thin on top talent, and with Marquardt's eights wins in his past 10 fights (which included a controversial split-decision loss to Thales Leites earlier this year), Marquardt is again in the thick of the title picture.
Having fought the current title-holder once previously, Marquardt knows exactly what Silva brings to the table. Marquardt was stopped in the first round of their encounter in 2007 at UFC 73. Not fazed by the loss, Marquardt welcomes a rematch and believes this time there would be a different outcome.
"I don’t know what the UFC's plans are," he said. "I feel I am ready for Anderson. I learned my lesson the last time I fought him. I feel like I am twice as good and twice as dangerous as before.
"I think it would turn into a war. Right now I am confident in my skills."