Nate Marquardt to Drop to Welterweight for Clash with Anthony Johnson

| April 13, 2011 | 8:57 pm | 1 Reply

Nate Marquardt has been a force at Middleweight in the UFC, going 10-4 since making his debut at UFC Fight Night in 2005. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is 6-3 in the UFC since his debut at another UFC Fight Night in 2007. Now the largest Welterweight in the UFC will meet one of the best Middleweights, dropping to 170 to try to make a run at GSP and the Welterweight Championship.

The UFC has announced that verbal agreements are in place for Nate Marquardt to meet Anthony “Rumble” Johnson on June 26th, at UFC on Versus 4 live from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The clash is a particularly interesting fight, as both fighters are coming off of very big wins. Nate defeated the always game Dan Miller in his last outing while Anthony Johnson recently handled Dan Hardy in Seattle.

Nate is a highly decorated fighter, winning the Middleweight King of Pancrase title three times and fought for the UFC Middleweight title, losing to undefeated in the UFC buzz-saw Anderson Silva. He recently lost his bid at a rematch with Anderson Silva when he was defeated by Yushin Okami at UFC 122. The drop to Welterweight makes sense for Marquardt who would have been forced to start over at the bottom of the 185 pound ladder.

Anthony Johnson has always had issues making weight and the likelihood of this fight taking place at 185 would have been easily believable. Johnson however looked to have an easier time making weight for Dan Hardy, and he’s a handful for anyone at 170. The winner of this fight could easily find himself on the verge of a title shot looking at the winner of GSP and Jake Shields.

In a press release by the UFC, Dana White was happy to see this fight and was quoted as saying, “Anthony Johnson has always been one of the largest welterweights in the UFC but now former top middleweight contender Nate Marquardt will drop down and attempt a run at the welterweight title.“ He went on to add, “Both of these guys are powerful strikers and grapplers and it should be a great fight.” Other confirmed fights for this exciting card are as follows.

Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt

Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo

John Howard vs. Martin Kampmann

Rich Attonito vs. Matt Brown

Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin

Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft

Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton

Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez

Edward Faaloloto vs. Michael Johnson

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