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Vitor Belfort open to rematch with Nate Marquardt on ‘neutral ground’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Vitor Belfort is down for a second fight with Nate Marquardt.

Marquardt asked for a rematch with Belfort in the United States after feeling he “clearly won” at least two rounds against the Brazilian at UFC 212, which took place in Rio de Janeiro on June 3. “The Phenom” disagrees with Marquardt about the decision, but is willing to meet him a second time.

"I respect [Marquardt] a lot but finding excuses for a loss it is not right,” Belfort posted on his Instagram. "I won the fight for sure and fighting in Brazil doesn't make a difference for the organization and the judges. As far as I'm concerned, the UFC is a international organization that has events and staff all over the world.

"But if you want to do it again. I am down for it! Let's fight in a neutral ground, so you can't complain about hometown advantage. I will make sure that the fight will not go to the last round! Let's do it!!”

Belfort scored his first decision victory in a decade against Marquardt, with judges Phillipe Iorio, Chris Lee and Jeff Mullen scoring the contest 29-28 in the Brazilian's favor — all three judges have Marquardt the advantage in the opening round, but scored the others a 10-9 for Belfort.

Speaking with MMA Fighting days after the fight, Marquardt said the crowd reaction to Belfort’s attacks might have influenced the judges.

“So watching the fight didn’t really change my perspective,” Marquardt said. “I was kind of curious because maybe it looked different than it felt, you know. In the fight, I felt like I was winning pretty much every second of the rounds, you know. He only caught me with a couple of punches, and the only thing that appeared differently from being in the fight than watching it from the outside was the crowd.

“Every time he would throw a kick – I would block every single one of them, he didn’t land one – the crowd would just cheer so loud, and I don’t know if that has anything to do with the judging, but I wouldn’t think so because al the websites had me winning the fight. So I mean, I don’t know. I guess obviously looking back, there’s things you could’ve done or mistakes that I made, but all-in-all, I fought very well and felt like I was the victor.”

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