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Marquardt expects Rick Story to fight 'dirty' at UFC Live

ESPN staff
June 24, 2011

Nate Marquardt is convinced he could win the UFC middleweight belt if he wanted to, so he sees no problem beating a smaller man in Rick Story at 170lbs.

Marquardt leaves the middleweight terrain after failing in a title shot against champion Anderson Silva, as well as two more recent championship eliminators against Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami.

Nate the Great insists his drop in division has been inspired by the fact 170lbs is his more natural weight, and he is looking forward to displaying his strength advantage against Story, who has won his last six fights.

"I feel I could get the title shot and get the title at 185," Marquardt told MMA Fighting. "If that opportunity ever arises, I'll go do that. But for now, I'm going to stay at this weight, at my walking around weight. I'm not going to try to bulk up anymore. I just want to stay here.

"I feel I had a strength advantage at 185. It doesn't really matter who I go against, I feel that I'm almost always going to be stronger. The fact that I haven't lost any strength going down means it's only more so."

Marquardt expects Story to bring the same gameplan that defeated Thiago Alves, cutting off the striking range and taking the rhythm out of the bout. This time, though, Marquardt insists Story will have no answers.

"I expect him to come forward the whole time and kind of try to make it a dirty fight, because I think he knows that I'm going to be better in most areas," said the Denver-based fighter.

"It's a good feeling to know that I know a lot more than this guy. The fact that he's this young up-and-comer, to me that just means that he doesn't know that I'm in a different league. He's going to have problems that way."

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