Another step in the ongoing Nate Marquardt saga is now complete, as the former UFC middleweight contender has signed a multi-fight deal with BAMMA in England, British Association of Mixed Martial Arts Vice-President Liam Fisher announced on Friday.
Marquardt was released by the UFC after he was unable to fight Rick Story in the main event of UFC on Versus 4 on June 26 in Pittsburgh due to elevated testosterone levels from testosterone replacement therapy.
Marquardt began the treatments in September and went on to defeat Dan Miller at UFC 128 in March in New Jersey under a temporary exemption. After taking 10 weeks off to undergo further tests from New Jersey, Marquardt restarted the therapy, but failed to be cleared by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission due to high levels of testosterone.
Following his release, Bellator emerged as a likely destination after champions Ben Askren and Hector Lombard publicly questioned Marquardt’s integrity and offered to fight him, but the promotion decided against signing him for now. Strikeforce was also out of the question with it now owned by UFC parent company Zuffa.
Marquardt’s BAMMA debut has not been announced and whether he fights at middleweight or welterweight remains in question, though Marquardt has said he would prefer to drop to 170-pounds after his welterweight debut against Story was scrapped.
BAMMA actually has one of the top welterweights in the world under contract in Paul Daley, who also released from the UFC following his own controversy after punching Josh Koscheck following the final bell in their fight at UFC 113. While Daley is not BAMMA’s current welterweight champion, a matchup of Marquardt and Daley would undoubtedly be the biggest fight the organization could host.
“It’s huge for us because Nate is a world-class fighter,” Fisher said. “He’s a very legitimate and current fighter. We’re trying to grow and be a big organization. Having people like Nate on the roster means we can achieve that.”
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