UFC Fight Night 43 Preview

ufc_fn43The Middleweight division will add two contenders to one of the toughest divisions in the UFC when James Te Huna and Nate Marquardt face off in New Zealand. For James Te Huna it will be his first ever fight at middleweight after spending the rest of his career at Light Heavyweight. After entering the UFC in 2010 Te Huna began to establish himself as a potential contender for the Light Heavyweight belt. He could never put together enough wins to get a title shot with his biggest win streak at four fights. That four fight winning streak would end when he faced eventual #1 contender Glover Teixeira. The losses would continue when he was knocked out in the first round by Mauricio Rua. The two losses were against some of the best fighters in the division but they would still push Te Huna back to the bottom of the rankings. Now Te Huna moves to a new division looking for new life in the UFC and hoping to climb up a new ladder. He will look to start that climb close to home, he is from Darfield, New Zealand. Te Huna will be joined in the octagon by a fighter who will be returning to the weight class for the first time in three ears. Marquardt has had plenty of success in the middleweight division as he was one of the top contenders early in his career. In 2007 Marquardt would rise to the top of the division and earn a match with Anderson Silva, a match he would lose in a first round KO. After continuing to be a strong fighter in the middleweight division Marquardt would look for a new challenge and would drop down in weight to the welterweight division. Now after winning the Welterweight title in Strikeforce, he would lose the title in his next fight, Marquardt would return to the UFC in the lighter weight class. After two straight losses in the division Marquardt is looking to the weight where he saw his most success. Marquardt has clearly not looked great in his return to the UFC and is trying to extend his life in the promotion with a new weight class. The same can be said for Te Huna who has also lost two in a row and is looking to a lighter weight class to extend his career. Both fighters will have an adjustment in this fight as they move to the new weight class. For Te Huna it will be the weight cut after spending so much time at a higher weight class. He will need to cut more weight than ever while still trying to keep his power and stamina up. For Marquardt it might be easier as he has done this weight before and was successful at the weight class. He is a big welterweight fighter so making the transition to a heavier weight will not be a major challenge for him. He will be fighting a fighter that is much bigger than him though and could have power that Marquardt has never seen before. The fight will see plenty of challenges for both fighters and with both fighters being well-rounded the fight could go anywhere. Te Huna will likely look to take the fight to the ground where he can use his great ground and pound attack. Marquardt on the other hand may look to see what Te Huna has on the feet and if need be, take control on the ground himself. The fight is an important one for both fighters as they are almost starting over again in a new weight class after straight losses. If they cannot get off to a good start in their new weight class they may not have many fights left in the UFC as they both want to end their losing streaks.

Before the middleweight battle there will be two relatively new heavyweights stepping into the octagon in young careers. Soa Pelelei and Jared Rosholt have not been at it long and much like the main event they are just starting to make their way up the rankings. Both have had plenty of success in their young careers in the UFC. In four fights Soa Palelei has won three and has finished every one of his wins, including his last two in the first round. Rosholt will enter his third fight in the UFC after winning his first two by unanimous decisions. Neither have really faced any of the top fighters in the division though with the biggest name on either of their careers being Pat Berry. They will step up slightly in competition this time as both have been very good in their fights and both are looking to continue their climb up the heavyweight rankings. For Rosholt it is a chance to show that he can be an exciting fighter and finish fights so that he can enter the rankings. For Palelei it is a chance to continue his great performances and improve on his #14 rank in the division. Both fighters prefer to take the fight to the mat but have different strategies when there. Rosholt is a wrestler and prefers to grind out wins on the mat while Palelei prefers to use his ground and pound to knockout opponents. He will look to do the same to Rosholt who is sure to try to stay away from the power of Palelei. In the end they are heavyweights though, and they will both be powerful fighters looking to end the fight and impress the UFC brass as they try to get noticed as the co-main event in New Zealand.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
James Te Huna vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt (UFC Fight Pass)

Main Card:
Soa “The Hulk” Palelei vs. Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt (UFC Fight Pass)

Hatsu Hioki vs. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliviera (UFC Fight Pass)

Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker vs. Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (UFC Fight Pass)

Undercard:
Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews vs. Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson (UFC Fight Pass)

Richie “Vas” Vaculik vs. Roldan “The Executioner” Sangcha-an (UFC Fight Pass)

Vik “The Spartan” Grujic vs. Chris “The Savage” Indich (UFC Fight Pass)

Neil Magny vs. Rodrigo “Monstro” de Lima (UFC Fight Pass)

Ian “The Whirlwind” Entwistle vs. Daniel “The Hangman” Hooker (UFC Fight Pass)

Gian Villante vs. Sean “The Real OC” O’Connell (UFC Fight Pass)

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