UFC middleweight fighter Nathan Marquardt (25-6-2) just signed the bout agreement for UFC 73, sealing his bid to challenge for the 185-pound belt against current champion Anderson Silva (18-4) on July 7.
It's been a long road for the mixed martial arts veteran, who will look keep his untarnished record inside the Octagon intact against one of the most gifted fighters in the sport today.
Nate recently wrote a quick note for his fans via MySpace, detailing some of his thoughts on the biggest fight of his successful career to date.
Here it is:
"Hello UFC fans. I am very excited to tell you that I will be fighting for the UFC Middleweight title on July 7 against Anderson Silva.
I have known for a while but have not told anyone until I was sure. I just signed the bout agreement yesterday and sent it in. I was told by my manager that if I beat Dean Lister that I would be fighting for the title. Then, our bout was not shown on television because of a decision by Spike TV.
I was worried that this might change the title situation, but the UFC has always kept their word with us and told us that we still would get the fight. I have learned not to get my hopes up until it is in writing.
Last week I received the bout contract and now I am very excited. I am fighting for the Middleweight belt, but I am more excited to fight against Anderson Silva. I believe he is a great fighter. I know my style will match up well with his and will make an exciting fight and in the end I will be victorious!
To prepare for this fight I will be training with all my normal training partners at Jackson's and in Denver. I will be training just like I do for any fight. Anderson Silva is a great fighter, but is just that, a fighter. He is not invincible, he has weaknesses and I am Nathan Marquardt.
I would like to thank all of my fans, sponsors, students, teammates, family and friends who have believed in me throughout all the ups and downs."
Nate is not only a great fighter, but an extremely nice guy. We'll do our best in the coming months to update our readers and his fans about his progress, training and some other cool stuff.
For now, I just want to personally congratulate him on the accomplishment.
It should be a tremendous fight on July 7.