UFC 182 Fight Breakdown: Nate Marquardt vs. Brad Tavares

Brad-Tavares One of the main card bouts at UFC 182 is a three-round middleweight bout between Nate Marquardt and Brad Tavares. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Marquardt is a -135 favorite (bet $135 to win $100) while Tavares is a +115 underdog (bet $100 to win $115). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up both Marquardt and Tavares at -120, and the public so far is on the veteran Marquardt. It’s a tough fight to predict but I slightly lean towards the underdog Tavares to get the win. Here’s why. Marquardt (33-13-2) is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and one of the all-time most successful middleweight fighters in UFC history. The 35-year-old Wyoming native is 12-7 overall in the UFC, including an 11-5 record as a middleweight and a 1-2 record since returning to the promotion in 2013 after a stint in Strikeforce. In his career, Marquardt holds wins over the likes of Tyron Woodley, James Te Huna, Demian Maia, and Martin Kampmann and most of his losses have come against elite fighters. Marquardt is exceptionally dangerous in all areas of the game, and he is a true finisher with nine knockouts and 16 submissions to his credit. His wrestling is also very solid. Marquardt’s biggest issue the last few years has been his chin, as he was knocked out in brutal fashion by Jake Ellenberger and Hector Lombard in 2013, but he says cutting so much weight to make 170lbs hurt his ability to take a punch and it’s very possible that’s true, because prior to those knockouts the only fighter to stop Marquardt with strikes was the great Anderson Silva. Having said that, Marquardt’s strike defence overall is very poor and it can cost him. Against Tavares, a kickboxer, he’ll likely look to take the fight to the mat and use his submissions to get the win, but Tavares is a strong defensive wrestler and that’s not going to be easy. Still, Marquardt is vastly more experienced and has had so much more success than Tavares in his career that it makes sense he enters this fight as a slight favorite. Tavares (12-3) was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter season 11 and has since gone on to post a 7-3 record in the UFC with wins over Seth Baczynski, Phil Baroni, Dongi Yang, Tom Watson, Riki Fukuda, Bubba McDaniel and Lorenz Larkin, with losses to Tim Boetsch, Yoel Romero and Aaron Simpson. The 27-year-old Hawaii native is a solid all-around MMA fighter. He has good kickboxing technique (although he lacks in power) and he has good offensive wrestling overall as well. His takedown defence is solid too and his submission defence has improved over the years. Tavares was on the fast track to the top 10 of the division but he really hit a speed bump in his last two fights, and I’m not exactly sure what happened. He was thoroughly outwrestled by Romero, which wasn’t a shocker, but getting knocked out by Boetsch in a fight he was dominating up until the final blows was shocking to see. He seems like he is on a decline already despite his young age, but at the same time Romero and Boetsch are no pushovers. I like Tavares and I still believe in him, but after seeing how his last two fights went, it’s hard to back him and that’s why he is the underdog in this fight. A tough fight to call for sure, and one that I think can play out in all sorts of ways. I could see Marquardt getting a stoppage, I could see Tavares getting a stoppage, and I could see either man getting a decision. It’s just a difficult fight to predict with all sorts of outcomes possible. For me, Tavares’ fence clinching and his workrate are going to be what wins him this fight. I think he can grind Marquardt against the cage for three rounds and get the decision, and I think maybe he can score a stoppage. But after seeing what happened in his last fight, it’s hard to have faith in him. I’m picking Tavares to win the fight, but I’m passing on a bet unless he gets to a higher number. It’s a dog-or-pass fight, but I think pass is probably the best play here with so many question marks.

Written by Adam Martin.

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