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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Tyron Woodley entered Saturday night's Strikeforce "Rockhold vs. Kennedy" event prepared for the biggest fight of his life, confident he could defeat Nate Marquardt to capture the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. He put forth a great effort, rocking Marquardt early in the first and nearly stopping him in the third, but he ultimately succumbed to the excellent power his opponent possesses, getting knocked out in the fourth round.
It was the first time he had tasted defeat in his MMA career, and for the 30-year-old fighter, it was a bitter and unexpected one.
"I didn't see myself losing against Nate," Woodley said after the event in a video interview with Sherdog.com (transcribed by BJPenn.com). "I didn't necessarily try to protect my undefeated record. I didn't see myself going undefeated for my entire career. That would have been great, but for me, I just thought I was faster. I thought that using my timing, using my hands, using my speed and using my wrestling, you know I didn't want to do a whole lot of taking down and wrestling. He was waiting on that, he was ready for that."
Woodley was frustrated with himself for the loss, and felt it was an opportunity he let slip by him. Still, he couldn't take away from what Marquardt himself did in the fight, and credited the new Champion for his efforts.
"I got a fat lip, my legs are a little sore, he got a couple leg kicks in. [I'm] just frustrated," Woodley said. "No pain in my body takes away from the fact that I look at him and I feel like he's wearing my belt. Kudos to the guy, he came out hard. He took some good shots as well. We went out there and fought hard, he came out on top today so there's nothing you can take from the guy."
Penick's Analysis: Despite the loss, I think Woodley proved a lot to people in his fight with Marquardt. He had gotten a very bad reputation because of a few boring fights, but he was very much a significant part of that fight on Saturday night being as excellent and exciting as it was. He was clearly at a disadvantage in the striking department, yet he showed off his power with some major shots, and after losing two rounds he came out with bad intentions in the third. He was bested by an excellent fighter, and there's no shame whatsoever in the loss he suffered on Saturday night. He'll be back, and hopefully will take away a few things from how he fought against Marquardt, and maybe we'll see a different Tyron Woodley his next time out.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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