At UFC Norfolk on Saturday, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Nate Marquardt returned to action against Brazil’s Cezar Ferreira.
Marquardt was a fighter who had struggled in recent years, and was looking to get back on track at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA. Ferreira, meanwhile, winner of the original Ultimate Fighter Brazil, entered the night off a loss to Canada’s Elias Theodoreau.
Early in round one of this middleweight bout, Marquardt pressed the action, walking down the Brazilian. There was a lot of feeling out early in this one, until the pair traded blows around the midway mark. Marquardt ate a left hand, and later a couple of low kicks; he’d answer back with an overhand, and continued to walk down Ferreira. Ferreira was changing levels on his kicks, going from leg kicks all the way upstairs and back again. Marquardt would land a right late in the first, and the action would go to a second.
A perceived lack of action had the crowd restless as round two got underway. Both Marquardt and Ferreira were picking their spots and looking to counter, leading to a bit of a standoff. They’d clinch against the fence about ninety seconds in, but Nate Marquardt was unable to secure a takedown. Instead, roughly a minute later it was Ferreira taking the fight to the ground, but Marquardt was able to escape a guillotine and get right back up. Ferreira would land a kick to the arm of his opponent. That was followed later by a spinning back fist attempt, and a leg kick by the Brazilian. Marquardt, meanwhile, was unable to get much offense going, but just prior to the end of the round, he’d clip Ferreira, knocking him down. The bell would cut the action off early, but a strong third round from either fighter could easily steal victory.
Ferreira opened the third round with a takedown, shifting the tone of the fight in an instant. Marquardt employed a closed guard, and was able to escape; Ferreira worked to ground him again, but Marquardt escaped in a scramble. A slam would put Marquardt on his back once again, and Ferreira began controlling the action, working from side control, then north-south. Marquardt would manage to open up a nasty cut on Ferreira before the fight came to an end, but it was the Brazilian getting the nod in the end.
Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)