Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt made an impressive return to fighting over the wekeend, scoring a thunderous knockout victory over Tyron Woodley.

Marquardt claimed the vacant title in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, delivering a series of sharp elbows that seemed to knock Woodley out on his feet. The final blow was an uppercut that “T-Wood” didn’t see coming.

While the consensus No. 1 ranked welterweight in the world has been Georges St-Pierre, the UFC champion has been on the sidelines for well over a year due to issues with his knee. Marquardt, who himself competed in the UFC prior to being cut, believes he should be atop those rankings.

“I really feel like it’s my time. I’m one of the best in the world, and actually, I feel like I’m the best in the world; the best welterweight,” Marquardt said. “I feel like I’m the best in the world, and that’s who I expect I’ll be fighting for my next fight.”

Who “The Great” is paired with next remains a mystery, as the Strikeforce welterweight division isn’t as deep as the UFC’s. Marquardt holds an impressive 32-10-2 record in his MMA career.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog