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Nate Quarry promises barnburner at UFC Fight Night 21, eyes contender status

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Jride

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The month of March is loaded with high-quality MMA fight cards, and with a number of exciting matchups planned, it's difficult to look forward to just one.

UFC middleweight contender Nate Quarry (12-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) thinks you'd best not sleep on his bout with Jorge Rivera (17-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31.

"I think this is really just a fan-favorite kind of fight," Quarry recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Both of us just go in there and throw."

Quarry and Rivera meet on the Spike TV broadcast portion of the North Carolina card, and with 18 knockouts or TKO wins between them, fireworks seem imminent.

"Every fight I've had in the UFC, no matter what it is, I come to fight," Quarry said. "I come to win every minute of every round. I've had two 'Fights of the Night.' The last fight against Tim Credeur, we were ranked No. 3 best fight of the year for two guys just going out there and beating on each other for 15 minutes. We're going to get the same thing with Rivera.

"[Rivera and I] just move forward and like to throw and like to finish fights. He's been fighting a long time for the UFC. This is a great opportunity, and I'm really looking forward to it."

Quarry comes into the fight on a two-bout win streak. In addition to the win over Credeur, Quarry also had a first-round win over Jason MacDonald at UFC 97.

But despite the recent success, "Rock" said he's still adding to his game.

"It's funny, I'll be talking with my coaches – and this was as recent as a few months ago – and he'll be telling me to feint the jab and throw a hook or something," Quarry said. "I said, 'Coach, why would I throw a jab that I wasn't looking to land and knock him out with?' He looks at me and says, 'So you can knock him out with the next punch.'

"It was like there was this huge light bulb over my head – like, 'What? Throw something to distract him so I can knock him out with the next one? Wow.' I've only been doing this for like 14 years now. You think I might pick this stuff up, but no. It's still brand new for me."

At nearly 38 years old, it might seem odd that Quarry is picking up such basic tactics. But the Team Quest fighter explained that the high-level training of mixed martial artist wasn't always quite as specialized as it is today.

"For most of my career, I really didn't have specialized coaches," Quarry said. "It was kind of the MMA training, which for the longest period of time was just watered-down jiu-jitsu, watered-down Muay Thai, watered-down boxing.

"Even back in the day when I would try to get specific training, I would go to a boxing gym, I would train there three or four times, the coaches would love me, and they'd see I was a hard worker that had potential. They'd come up to me and say, 'OK, we want to set you up with a fight.' I'd go, 'No, no, no. I'm doing this NHB stuff, this no holds barred where you fight in a cage.' They'd go, 'Oh, OK. Well, you're not welcome here anymore.'"

Of course, now that MMA has exploded in popularity, some of those coaches have changed their tune.

Quarry hasn't.

"Here we are years later, and those exact same coaches have come up to me and said, 'Hey, I'd love to work with you,'" Quarry said. "I'm like, 'You know what? My dance card is full. When I needed your help, you could have been there. You could have believed in me, but you missed the boat.'"

A popular cast member of the first-season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Quarry received a title shot against Rich Franklin in 2005. Things didn't go exactly well for him that night, but the slugger is 4-1 since that time.

The Oregonian hopes a win over Rivera will get his name once again mentioned among the 185-pound title contenders.

"My record in the UFC is 7-2," Quarry said. "I've had a lot of knockouts in the UFC. I've had a lot of exciting fights. I hope that my name stays in the mix for those type of things."

But regardless of where he's ranked in the division, Quarry promises to continue putting on exciting fights.

"Have you ever seen me get tired and lay in somebody's guard and not punch him?" Quarry asked. "It won't happen."

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Post #1   3/14/10 6:03:08PM   

prozacnation1978

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I highly doubt this goes to a decision
Someone lights are going out

Post #2   3/14/10 6:25:44PM   

BustedKnuckle

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yeah, Quarrys eyes need to be on Jorge. Rivera is no joke and will put you to sleep. I hope Nate isnt overlooking him.

Post #3   3/14/10 6:45:13PM   

icantthinkofanything

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he takes so much punishment, must have a good chin.
I like his ko punching, but think its disturbing he never knew the point of a jab...not many mma guys use the jab, so i guess mma and boxing r different in that way.

i love to watch him fight, because its always exciting

Post #4   3/14/10 7:14:52PM   

sbulldavid

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Rivera is a tough dude to stand with, he better not get too fancy.

Post #5   3/14/10 8:46:17PM   

jae_1833

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Jorge is rough in the clinch too....I may be picking him over Nate.

Post #6   3/15/10 2:35:25AM   

MaxOne

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I like both guys i think this is Rivera's to lose.

_______________________________________
Eddie Would Throw

Post #7   3/15/10 5:42:43PM