Tyron Woodley Set to Face Nate Marquardt for Strikeforce Welterweight Title

MMA veteran Nate Marquardt will face undefeated Tyron Woodley in July, for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title. For Marquardt, it will be his first fight since getting released by the UFC, after failing to get medical clearance – due to elevated testosterone levels – for his “UFC on Versus 4” fight against Rick Story.

Without a doubt, Marquardt will be Woodley’s toughest test to date. And it’ll be interesting to see how the wrestling based fighter handles Marquardt’s well-rounded skills. Woodley will have momentum on his side though, considering the fact Marquardt hasn’t been inside the cage in over a year.

Marquardt signed with BAMMA shortly after his release from the UFC. He was scheduled to face Yoshiyuki Yoshida in his BAMMA debut, but he ended up parting ways with the U.K. promotion a month prior to his bout. Fortunately for Marquardt, the folks at Zuffa decided to bring him back in February, setting the stage for his title shot against Woodley.

Given the many obstacles Marquardt has had to overcome within the past year, I’m pretty sure he’s happy with the way things have turned out. Motivation shouldn’t be an issue for him against Woodley, since winning the Strikeforce title will bring him closer to the UFC. He’ll have his work cut out for him though, considering the fact it’ll be his first time fighting at 170 pounds.

Marquardt might be the more experienced MMA fighter, but the folks at Strikeforce certainly didn’t do him any favors by putting him up against Woodley. A highly accomplished wrestler by any standard, Woodley has the tools needed to become Strikeforce’s next welterweight champion. Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami exposed some flaws in Marquardt’s grappling, and Woodley might be able to capitalize on those weaknesses.

Sources:

Damon Martin, “Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley Likely to Face Off…

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.

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