There was once a time when Nate Marquardt was one of the best in the UFC middleweight division. Many including then champion Anderson Silva believed that Marquardt was the heir apparent to the middleweight crown. But Marquardt never lived up to those lofty expectations.

Marquardt has continued to be a top tier fighter, but he hasn’t been able to get over that championship hump in the UFC. The technical tools are still there, but at 36 and a veteran of 49 professional fights, the physical window is closing fast for Marquardt. If he wants another shot a capturing UFC gold, the time is now.

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, at UFC 188, Marquardt will look to get back in the win column against TUF winner and former welterweight contender, Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum is a very dangerous matchup because of his wrestling and top game, but Marquardt has more than enough weapons to get the job done.

Maintain Distance

Gastelum is being forced to move to middleweight for this bout by the UFC because of his inability to consistently make weight at 170. Even though Gastelum is a thick fighter, he doesn’t have great length. Marquardt will have three inches of height and reach and he needs to use that to keep Gastelum on the outside. Gastelum has serious power, but he is at his best when the action is in tight. At distance Marquardt’s technical striking prowess will come into play.

Stay Out of the Clinch

The uglier this fight is the better off Gastelum is. He wants to wear his opponent down and make them feel uncomfortable. Marquardt has struggled against heavy wrestlers in the past and he cannot afford to let Gastelum work the clinch game on Saturday. If Gastelum clinches up, Marquardt needs to either create space or take the fight to the mat.

End Up On Top

Owner of 16 career submission victories, Marquardt is a skilled grappler. But in order for him to be effective, he needs to be in top position. Marquardt has never been great off of his back, so if the fight goes to the ground, Marquardt needs to be on top. Gastelum is a talented grappler with a heavy top game and Marquardt simply isn’t good enough off of his back to buck the youngster.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.