In a battle between two fighters changing weight classes in the hope that it can revive their UFC careers, James Te Huna will square off with Nate Marquardt in his middleweight debut. Marquardt moves back to 185lbs for the fight, and he’ll be hoping to get his first win in four against a fighter on a two fight losing skid.
Both Te Huna and Marquardt are respected strikers who have fought the creme de la creme in their careers, but have both equally had a torrid time as of late. In his last performance, Te Huna lost in the first round due to a devastating counter by former champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, just six months after a first round submission loss to Glover Teixeira. The Australia native announced his move to middleweight and will be hoping to grab an all important win over a tough foe in Nate Marquardt.
After successfully dropping down to welterweight in his Strikeforce debut against Tyron Woodley in July 2012, and winning the vacant welterweight title in the process, Marquardt was once considered a big threat to the UFC title. However, after losing to Tarec Saffiedine in Strikeforce’s final event, he has suffered back-to-back losses since returning to the Octagon, with brutal knockouts early into his fights with Jake Ellenberger and Hector Lombard.
Marquardt is a former title challenger at middleweight and will hope to re-find the form that led to his shot at Anderson Silva’s belt at UFC 73, but a loss to Te Huna could spell the end of his UFC career.
UFC will debut in New Zealand on June 28 at Vector Arena in Aukland, with Te Huna vs. Marquardt headlining the ‘Fight Night’ card. No other bouts have been confirmed at this time.