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Just how great is Nate Marquardt?

Nate Marquardt, left, knocks out Demian Maia in

Nate Marquardt, left, knocks out Demian Maia in the first round of their middleweight bout at UFC 102 in Portland, Ore. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stuck on the cutting floor for this Nate Marquardt UFC 122 pre-fight hype video are the beating he took from Chael Sonnen and the looking away of Rousimar Palhares in his last fight.

Still, Marquardt is a top middleweight title contender and his fight against Yushin Okami for the next title shot should be a very good one.

But before we all start praising Marquardt (33-9-2), let's realize that his two last fights were not exactly anything to be excited about. He took a 15-minute beating from Sonnen and lost by unanimous decision at UFC 109.

In his last bout, you could argue that the only reason Marquardt won so easily was because Palhares had a brain fart and looked to judges, officials and people in his corner to allege that the slippery Marquardt had some type of substance on his legs. How else could he so simply slip about of his Palhares' ankle lock, right?

Wrong. Marquardt was instantly cleared of any wrongdoing in the cage.

While this Marquardt-Okami main event at UFC 122 will be billed as No. 1 contender fight, Marquardt still has quite a big to prove. That devastating one-punch knockout of Demian Maia will only carry him so far for so long.

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