Nate Marquardt and Dan Miller showed heart and determination as they battled it out for three full rounds tonight in New Jersey, but Marquardt always had the upper hand.

The first round was all about grappling with Miller keen to take the fight to the mat early, and after some initial resistance from Marquardt he managed to do so up against the fence.

Miller’s unable to do much with the position though and before long they get back up again. This time it’s Marquardt who goes for the takedown and does so successfully, but Miller snatches for a guillotine choke in the process. Staying composed Marquardt eventually manages to get out of it.

Miller manages to stifle his opponent from the guard and they get stood back up. Towards the end there’s another powerful takedown from Marquardt, and the bell sounds with Miller looking for a kimura from his back.

By contrast round two is fought largely on the feet, and it’s gritty stuff as both men throw heavy leather. Despite a cut that’s bleeds heavily from his lip it’s Marquardt who’s getting the better of it, landing some powerful punches, a head kick, and even a flying knee at one point, resulting in Miller sporting a mouse above his left eye.

In the closing minutes of the round the fight hits the mat again with Marquardt on top and again Miller looksfor a guillotine choke. It looks deep but he can’t finish it.

Both men looked banged up facially heading into the third, but they continue to trade blows regardless. Again it’s Marquardt who’s gaining the upperhand, finding a home for his right hand, but Miller is as game as they come and doesn’t back down despite blood now spilling from above his left eye.

Miller goes for a takedown but Marquardt stuffs it and ends up on top. Finally Marquardt is able to get some ground and pound going in the final minutes of the round, landing effective elbows as Miller looks to be running out of steam.

And so it goes to the judges, with Marquardt earning a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).

While not the decisive finish that Marquardt would have been hoping for this was a solid win against a tough opponent. Credit goes to Miller though for putting on a gutsy display after being brought in at short notice for this fight.