In the main event of UFC Fight Night New Zealand, James Te Huna, former top ten light heavyweight, took on Nate Marquardt, former Strikeforce Welterweight champion and UFC Middleweight title challenger. The fight took place at the 185 pound limit of middleweight, despite both men’s last fight taking place above and below the weight class, respectively. Of the two fighters, Marquardt was the only one to have experience at middleweight, though for a long time before this fight, he fought at welterweight. Te Huna, on the other hand, fought his entire career at light heavyweight where he weighed in at 205 pounds. This was Te Huna’s first attempt at dropping 20 pounds and trying his luck at middleweight.
Many believed, despite the experience difference, it was the size difference between the two fighters that was gonna make this fight. Te Huna was never a small light heavyweight and, at middleweight, he looked huge for the weight class. Marquardt, who is obviously capable of making 170 pounds, didn’t look out of place at middleweight, though Te Huna was the bigger man.
Te Huna has made a name for himself being an aggressive, hard-hitting fighter who pursues the knockout every chance he can get. The story of this fight, unfortunately for Te Huna, was the ground game and grappling ability of Marquardt. Early in the first round, Te Huna was taken down by Marquardt and, the rest of the fight was, essentially, a grappling clinic for Marquardt, who was able to out position the bigger man at every turn. Eventually the submission came when Marquardt locked on a beautufl arm bar and forced Te Huna to tap out in front of his home crowd at 4:34 of the very first round.
For Te Huna, this isn’t the end of his career, though, he’ll have to really show something in his next fight which will presumably be at middleweight. For Marquardt, this is a solid win over a capable opponent in his new, re-found home at 185 pounds.
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Tags: James Te Huna, Middleweight, MMA, Nate Marquardt, UFC, Welterweight