UFC Fight Night 43 Fight Breakdown: James Te Huna (-220) vs. Nate Marquardt (+180)

James Te Huna The main event of UFC Fight Night 43 is a five-round middleweight bout between James Te Huna and Nate “The Great” Marquardt. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Te Huna as a -220 favorite (bet $220 to win $100) while Marquardt is a +180 underdog (bet $100 to win $180). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Te Huna at -190 and Marquardt at +150, and so far there has been slight action on the hometown favorite Te Huna. This is a tricky bout to predict but I do lean towards Te Huna and believe he will defeat Marquardt. Here’s why. Te Huna (16-7) is the hometown hero, and as a native of New Zealand will headline the UFC’s first-ever foray into the country. 32 years of age, Te Huna is coming off of two-straight losses at light heavyweight to Glover Teixeira and Shogun Rua and will be making his middleweight debut in this bout. He is overall 5-3 in the UFC with wins over Ryan Jimmo, Joey Beltran, Aaron Rosa, Ricardo Romero and Igor Pokrajac and the losses to Teixeira, Rua, and top-ranked Alexander Gustafsson. He has wicked power in his fists and overall has earned 10 victories in his career via T/KO. He also has three submissions. However, while he packs a punch himself he has shown that he has issues with his defence and his chin has let him down in the past in the fight against Rua and nearly did so as well in the fights against Jimmo and Pokrajac. As well, he has shown that he doesn’t have much in the way of submissions, although his wrestling is actually pretty underrated. The thing about Te Huna is he’s moving down to 185 pounds here and at middleweight he might be one of the biggest and strongest fighters in the division, but we won’t know until he actually steps in the ring. The UFC is giving him a matchup here against Marquardt where he has a clear path to victory, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock by any means and if he doesn’t knock Marquardt out he could be in trouble. Marquardt (32-13-2) is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and King of Pancrase. Now 35 years of age, Marquardt has a wealth of experience fighting in the UFC. Overall Marquardt is 10-6 including a 10-4 mark at middleweight, where he will be returning to for this fight after a 1-3 overall run at 170lbs. In his career Marquardt has victories over a number of high-profile fighters including Tyron Woodley, Dan Miller, Rousimar Palhares, Demian Maia, Martin Kampmann, Jeremy Horn, and Yves Edwards, and he’s fought studs like Anderson Silva, Hector Lombard, and Jake Ellenberger as well. He is an excellent all-around mixed martial artist with wicked striking, great submissions, and also solid wrestling. He also has the cardio to go the full five rounds. The biggest issue with Marquardt though is his chin, as he’s been knocked out in his last two fights in brutal fashion and in his last three he’s been beaten senseless. His chin will likely be better back at 185lbs since he won’t be so dehydrated like he was fighting at 170lbs, but at this point it might be completely broken. He certainly has the skills to take out Te Huna, but with the question marks about his chin as well as the fact he enters this fight with a size disadvantage and will be in his opponent’s backyard, it makes sense he enters the fight as the underdog. Although Marquardt has wicked striking, in recent fights he has looked extremely timid on the feet and that could cost him against an aggressive slugger like Te Huna. I believe the fight will stay standing and I think Te Huna is going to catch Marquardt and put him out cold for the third-straight fight as the hometown hero closes out UFC Fight Night 43 with a bang. I do lean towards Te Huna but the moneyline of -220 is a bit too high for my likings based on all the question marks of him dropping to 185lbs for the first time, so I think a pass is in order here. If anything, the prop on Te Huna wins inside the distance at -125 could have some value as this fight isn’t likely at all to go the full five rounds and Te Huna is likely get a finish if he does achieve victory. I also think there is value on the fight not going the five-round distance, which is -280.

Written by Adam Martin.

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