Spike TV's decision to run a UFC marathon featuring Nate Marquardt fights was clearly an aggressive move by a network which appears to be on the outs with the promotion. Marquardt fights Rick Story in the main event of UFC on Versus 4. But the real question is what Spike's grand intentions were.
Let's take a look at the fights that will be shown during the Spike marathon:
1:00pm - UFC Unleashed
Anderson Silva vs. Nate Marquardt (UFC 73)
Marquardt scored an early takedown but would later be stuffed on a shot, put on his back and pounded out by the middleweight king. It may have been his one shot at UFC gold, but it's far from a flattering way to kick off a marathon of fights revolving around Nate.
2:00pm - UFC Unleashed
Chael Sonnen vs. Nate Marquardt (UFC 109)
Other than a few guillotines that nearly caught his foe, the story of the fight was Marquardt being repeatedly put on his back and smashed with punches and elbows. By the time the final bell sounded Marquardt's face told the story of the fight, gushing blood before all three scorecards awarded Sonnen the 30-27 victory.
3:00pm - UFC Unleashed
Martin Kampmann vs. Nate Marquardt (UFC 88)
Third fight in, first win for Marqardt. And an impressive win at that. Marquardt scored an impressive TKO win over Kampmann. Martin was riding a 9 fight win streak coming into the bout, a streak which was snapped as Marquardt folded him in a brief, aggressive exchange of powerful strikes in the first round.
4:00pm - UFC Fight Night 1
Ivan Salaverry vs. Nate Marquardt
Honestly, I'm amazed they'd show this. Salaverry/Marquardt was a horrible fight that was practically booed out of the Cox Pavilion and may be in the top five of the worst main events in modern UFC history. Marquardt won the decision but tested positive for nandrolone and was suspended. Salaverry got cut from the UFC for his role in the abhorrent "clash." So far we've had two Marquardt losses and a terrible bout.
6:00pm - UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson
Wilson Gouveia vs. Nate Marquardt
Another impressive Marquardt fight here as the flurry he used to finish Gouveia in the final round is one of the most impressive moments of his career. After an opening round fought at a very measured pace, Nate opened up with punishment in round two and carried that into the final frame where he got the TKO win.
9:00pm - UFC Fight Night:
This was a pretty weird fight. The two men felt each other out for nearly two minutes. Once it hit the ground Palhares tried for one of his trademark leg locks, Marquardt slipped out and Palhares began to appeal to referee Herb Dean that Marquardt's ankles were greased. Marquardt landed a right hand that set up a finishing flurry while Palhares worried about the referee and the fight was quickly stopped. It was an ending that didn't go over well with many fans and somewhat tainted a bout many were excited for.
So there you have it. In the chosen bouts, Marquardt goes 4-2. In those four wins, one was among the worst modern UFC main events and saw Nate test positive after the bout and another was one saw a bizarre ending that had his opponent accusing Nate of greasing.
Was this a purposeful move by Spike to turn fans off to the idea of tuning in for a Marquardt headlined card? Or is Spike just using the footage they have available to them to showcase a fighter who fights that night on a competing network?