Marquardt's move to 170 was St. Pierre's idea

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
12:29
PM ET
Okamoto By Brett Okamoto
ESPN.com
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Soon to be UFC welterweight Nate Marquardt has done his best to deflect questions on whether or not he'd ever fight current 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre, a teammate and close friend of his.

He has revealed, however, that it was St. Pierre's idea that he move down a weight class. The Canadian star offered the advice the last time Marquardt was in Montreal, helping him prepare for a title defense against Josh Koscheck at UFC 124.

Nate Marquardt
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.comNate Marquardt, standing, is dropping to welterweight, thanks to some slender advice from Georges St. Pierre.


"Actually, he brought it up me," Marquardt told ESPN.com. "He asked me what I was walking around at and said, 'Wow. You should drop to 170.'

"I was like, 'I don't know. You're the champion there. I want to be a champion.' He told me not to worry about it, that if that's what is best for me I have to do it. I didn't even think about it until he said it. Once I went back to my own camp, it made sense to me."

Marquardt (31-10-2), based in Denver, said he was walking around at 191 pounds prior to his recent fight against Dan Miller in March. St. Pierre is known for walking around at a similar weight between fights.

In late March, it was announced Jon Fitch had pulled out of a July fight against B.J. Penn due to injury. Marquardt expressed his interest to the UFC to fill in for Fitch and make his welterweight debut.

The UFC instead announced he would meet Anthony Johnson in the main event at UFC on Versus 4, scheduled for June 26 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Technically, it will be the first time Marquardt has fought at 170 pounds; however the 12-year veteran says he began his career fighting at 155.

"When I started my career I was a lightweight," Marquardt said. "Over the years, I put on weight. When I started fighting for the Pancrase middleweight division, it was at something like 181 pounds and I was under that weight."

Marquardt is not expecting a difficult cut to 170. He plans to be conservative and begin dieting within the next two weeks. He intends to target a cut of eight or nine pounds on the day of weigh-ins.

"I know what I'm doing," Marquardt said. "I've been fighting professionally for years. I've fought in Japan before, cutting anywhere from zero to 14 pounds in one day. I know how to do it and I have a lot of guys around me who know how to do it."

In regards to someday fighting St. Pierre, Marquardt continues to remain vague in his public statements. He does, however, believe his teammate is headed toward a fight with middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva.

"Honestly, I'm not thinking about it and if it's ever an issue I'll deal with it then," Marquardt said. "I don't know if [St. Pierre] is planning on moving up but I definitely know he's considering fighting Anderson. I think that's a great fight and I think he has the perfect style to beat a guy like Silva."

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