2014 was a difficult year for Brad Tavares.

After defeating Lorenz Larkin just under one year ago, he lost two straight to Yoel Romero and Tim Boetsch. Prior to 2014, Tavares had put together a record of six wins and only one loss in the UFC. That may keep him off of the hot seat for this fight, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he gets released after another loss. So, who is in front of him, who does he have to get through to secure his spot on the UFC roster?

Tavares’ first opponent of the new year is Nate Marquardt. Though Tavares is coming off of a loss and Marquardt is coming off of a win, Marquardt may be in a more perilous position if he loses on Saturday night. In his last four fights he has only won his last, and someone with a one and four record isn’t likely to remain a member of the UFC roster.

Every fight, for every fighter is a must win scenario, but the consequences of a loss for either man could have serious ramifications on their futures. For Tavares, he would most likely be granted one more chance in the organization if he losses, but Marquardt has his back up against the wall.  A true veteran of the sport, if he were to be cut it would most likely mean the end of his career. When Tavares steps into the octagon, he will be facing a very dangerous Marquardt who has the ability to finish the fight no matter where it goes. Tavares must remain true to his skills to find victory against Marquardt. So what does Tavares need to do to come out on top?

Leg Kicks

Tavares has decent skills in the striking department and does typically mix in kicks of all kinds. During Marquardt’s final Strikeforce fight against Tarec Saffiedine, he was exposed by Saffiedine and his ability to cut him down with vicious leg kicks. Certainly Marquardt has attempted to correct that hole in his game, but it’s probably still an issue for him. Tavares may not be on the same level as Saffiedine with his striking skills, but he can certainly learn some lessons from that fight and apply it to his favor.

Wrestle

Tavares has good skills in the wrestling and grappling department. He needs to keep Marquardt guessing at all times and keep him from get comfortable. Even if he doesn’t complete the takedowns, he must threaten strategically with them. If he does this, he can create some openings for his striking.

Killer Instinct

During Tavares’ tenure with the UFC he has done very well, but one glaring defect has been his inability to finish. His last finish took place way back at UFC 125 when he knocked out Phil Baroni. Since that time, it has been all decisions when he has had his hand raised. Marquardt has only been knocked out three times in his career. One took place back in 2007 when he faced Anderson Silva the other two both took place in 2013. The writing appears to be on the wall for Marquardt’s chin as of late and Tavares must take the opportunity to capitalize on the opportunity to take advantage of it if it presents itself.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.