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Nate Marquardt Not Focused on Criticism Heading Into UFC 128

Nate Marquardt will not be using Dana White's criticism as motivation to prepare for his upcoming fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128.

If you recall, following Marquardt's loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 122, the UFC president called Marquardt "a choker."

"I don't really pay attention to that kind of stuff," Marquardt said on the most recent episode of The MMA Hour. "It's just not true of me. You have to deal with that talk crap all the time and just basically brush it off. I gotta stick to what I gotta do."

The 31-year-old Marquardt squandered an opportunity to fight the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort for the UFC middleweight title by losing to Okami, and as a result, he must attempt to climb the 185-pound ladder a third time to realize his dream of becoming UFC champion. Marquardt lost a UFC title fight to Silva in July 2007.

"It was definitely very disappointing to be that close and I didn't seize the opportunity like I could have. I'm very disappointed, but at the same time, I still got a lot more time in this sport and I still believe I'm going to be the champion."

Marquardt said he hasn't talked to White since UFC 122 and he doesn't feel the need to do so right now. He respects White's opinion, but obviously doesn't agree with him.

"I don't really pay attention to the criticism. I criticize myself enough. I listen to the instructions of my teammates, coaches. So I'm focused on what I gotta do to win this fight. I feel like I'm one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC and I feel like I will be able to prove that again."

Both Marquardt and Akiyama are in desperate need of big wins at UFC 128, as both men will be entering the fight with 1-2 records in their last three respective fights.

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