UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz sees the return of former #1 contender Nate Marquardt (32-11-2 MMA; 10-4 UFC). He takes on Jake Ellenberger (28-6 MMA; 7-2 UFC). This Welterweight fight is the third of five fights on the PPV broadcast. The UFC 158 PPV airs this Saturday night, March 16, with the main card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
Ellenberger vs. Marquardt kicks off the 3 fight Welterweight series at the top of the UFC 158 card. Originally scheduled as Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks, the fight was switched when a Rory MacDonald injury bumped Hendricks up to the co main event. Marquardt filled in in what was a bit is a surprise thanks to the very bad way he left the UFC two years ago. Good to see him back with the company though, as he is a talented fighter who adds to the upper ranks at 170.
How do these two stack up?
Ellenberger: 27 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach
Marquardt: 33 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Jake Ellenberger had a great 2 year UFC Welterweight run from 2010-2012. During that time, he won 6 in a row, culminating in back to back big wins over Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. He seemed on the verge of a title shot, but was then defeated by Martin Kampmann and knocked down the ladder. His lone fight since was a rather dull win over Jay Hieron. Ellenberger is a skilled wrestler, with big power, but the question right now is, will he risk using that power or play a more conservative game?
Nate "The Great" Marquardt had a long run in the UFC Middleweight division before leaving the company due to a drug test failure in 2010. There was a lot of bad blood over that incident at the time. Marquardt landed in Strikeforce, going 1-1 as a Welterweight before the company closed its doors. There's no doubt that Marquardt is a talented fighter who can give anyone trouble, but given his spotty recent history with the UFC, his multiple drug test failures, and his loss to Saffiedine, he is badly in need of a win tonight.
Why should you care?
Because this is just going to be a plain old good fight. Hopefully. Both men can bring it, though there is a chance of things slowing down a bit.