The former number one middleweight contender, Nate Marquardt, is looking to return to action in January 2008 UFCmania.com has learned.
No opponent has been named at this time.
"We're waiting for a 'big' fight in January," said the soft-spoken member of Team Greg Jackson. "The list is small," Marquardt quipped when pressed for possible names.
More than likely the next month will determine his adversary, considering there are three match ups lined up that include some of the top fighters in the division.
- Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin (UFC 77)
- Yushin Okami vs. Jason MacDonald (UFC 77)
- Terry Martin vs. Chris Leben (UFC Fight Night 11)
Some simple analysis shows that Marquardt will almost certainly not get an immediate opportunity against the champion, Silva -- Marquardt got taken out in the first round via technical knockout by "The Spider" his last time out at UFC 73.
If Silva defeats Franklin in their rematch and Okami topples MacDonald then it would seem that Okami would earn the next shot at Silva (Okami already owns a win -- albeit controversial -- over the Brazilian).
Silva-Okami would be a great showdown ... but how hard would that be to market here in the United States? Eek.
Patrick Cote has already called out the winner of Martin-Leben. And the last time a Canadian fighter did that he got his wish. See Jonathan Goulet.
So, conventional wisdom suggests that Marquardt will face either Franklin (if he loses), Okami (if he loses) or MacDonald (if he loses).
This division is a real mess right now. Perhaps the best thing to do is bring in Dan Henderson and clean it up.
He can put the "big" in big fight.