Marquardt not focused on criticism, has faith everything will fall into place
Nate Marquardt is no stranger to high-pressure situations.
Since February of 2010, Marquardt has found himself in a pair of title eliminator bouts, looking to earn a rematch with dominant middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who defeated him in their 185 lb. title fight at UFC 73. However, even though he is familiar with high profile contests, the middleweight contender always seems to fall short in the biggest moments.
At least that is what UFC president Dana White believes, stating after Marquardt's loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 122 last November that the 42-fight veteran just can't come through when something as big as a title shot is on the line.
White's sentiments may have come across as harsh to some, but Marquardt says he is too busy listening to his coaches and training partners to worry about any critics outside of his camp.
"Honestly, it really didn’t have any effect on me because I don’t really care," Marquardt told HeavyMMA.com. "I don’t listen to critics. The only critic I need to listen to is myself and I’m my biggest critic. I know what I did wrong in that fight and I figured it out. I don’t need to listen to negative criticism from people who don’t fight. It just doesn’t make sense. Why would I listen to that when I have people who care about me who want me to succeed, who want me to be the champion. Those are the people I’m going to listen to."
While Marquardt may not be focused on White's criticism following his loss to Okami, he certainly is focused on learning from that loss, along with his loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 109, which deprived him of a second shot at Silva.
For fighter like Marquardt, every loss hurts, especially the ones where a title shot was on the line. But even though he hates losing just as much as anyone in this sport could, he is not dwelling on the past, but rather looking to rebuild and launch himself back into the title picture in 2011.
"In the beginning, it devastates," Marquardt said about his recent losses. "No one wants to win more than I do. Right after the fight is when those emotions are the worst, but then it just becomes motivation. Especially with those fights, I lost the decisions, but the Sonnen fight, I made that fight exciting. I did more damage. The Okami fight, that was a close fight. I think it could’ve gone either way as far as the judging. I landed bigger shots, I landed more takedowns.
"You know, it’s not like a devastating loss. I didn’t get dominated. I went out and did a good job. I just probably didn’t do my best. I feel like if I get in there and do my best, I don’t have to worry about winning or losing. I’m always going to win if I do my best."
In recent performances, Marquardt has failed to fight to his full potential, causing him to drift out of the title mix for the time being. The man nicknamed "The Great" now finds himself in a position to jump back into contention when he meets Dan Miller at "UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones" this coming Saturday on Pay-Per-View.
But Marquardt will enter the cage in Newark, New Jersey with a different mentality than he has in the past. Instead of worrying about climbing back to contender status, he is just going to perform. Rather than concern himself with what implications a win or a loss would have this weekend, Marquardt will fight with the knowledge that if he lays it all on the line, everything will fall into place and that a title shot will eventually come if he can erase the pressure he puts on himself.
"I’ve been a top ten fighter for a long time," Marquardt said. "I just think a fight like this is going to remind everyone that I’m at the top and I’m right there. I need to put it together in those title fights and title eliminator fights, but I’m right there.
"One thing I’ve figured out about myself is that I put too much pressure on myself, because I do want to be the champion, I do want to win every single fight so badly. That kind of stuff adds more pressure, so I kind of decided to not care about that and just take it one fight at a time. I feel that I’ll be there one day and I just have to have faith."
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