Nate Marquardt lost badly to Anderson Silva when he got a shot at Silva's UFC middleweight title in 2007, but he thinks he has earned another shot at Silva. And as Marquardt prepares for his UFC 109 fight with Chael Sonnen, he says the reason he's earned that second title shot is that he's become a finisher.
"The main thing is my mindset going into these fights: Look for the finish every second of the fight," Marquardt says. "It doesn't matter if I'm on my back, if I'm on top, if I'm on my feet. I'm so much more dangerous because of that."
Marquardt, who has won his last three fights with spectacular finishes, says the difference between himself and Sonnen is that he finishes people and Sonnen doesn't.
"Everything that he does, I do better, and that's one of the main differences," Marquardt says. "That's what makes me ranked No. 2 in the world and him at No. 6. I have knockout power and I haven't seen knockout power from him. He's a grinder, but I can grind too and then I can knock you out."
There's no question that Marquardt has become a better and more exciting fighter over the last couple of years, and if he beats Sonnen he'd be able to make a good case that he's deserving of a middleweight title shot against the Anderson Silva-Vitor Belfort fight at UFC 112.
However, I don't see a second Silva-Marquardt fight ending much differently than the first one. If Marquardt beats Sonnen and Silva beats Belfort, that doesn't mean Marquardt deserves another shot at Silva. It means it's time for Silva to permanently leave the middleweight division.