Nate Marquardt appeared on The MMA Hour on MMAFighting.com this afternoon to break his silence on the details surrounding the purported medical issue that prevented him from fighting on Sunday night’s UFC Live on Versus 4 card in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Marquardt revealed that he suffers from low testosterone levels and has been under the care of an unnamed physcian who prescribed Testosterone Replacement Therapy to counteract the condition. He explained that he recently switched from using prescribed pills to increase his body’s natural testosterone production capabilities of his testicles and pituitary gland to receiving doctor’s injections of synthetic testosterone to regulate his levels, but as a result of a double dosage the week prior to his scheduled bout with Rick Story and the weight cut to make 170 lbs for his UFC welterweight debut his levels were too high to be granted approval by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
“The Great” told host Ariel Helwani that the PSAC doctor explained that the lack of water in his system due to the dehydration process of weight cutting likely skewed the test results as it “thickened” his blood and made the concentration much higher than it would be under normal conditions.
According to Marquardt’s manager Lex McMahon from Alchemist Management, they learned of Marquardt’s dismissal from the UFC from Dana White’s Twitter posting the night of the weigh-ins, just like everyone else. Although he would not speak for the UFC president as to whether or not he was serious when he said Marquardt would never fight for the promotion again, McMahon said they were optimistic things would be sorted out over time, but what’s important is that his client goes home and gets the support he needs from his family and friends and that he pays it forward in kind.
Nate seemed irritated by Helwani’s query as to whether or not he had or would be contacting his physician to question him about what caused his levels to get so far out of whack, but said that part of the issue is that he had been using an “off-brand” version of testosterone other than the one prescribed for him. Translation: “I bought a test product from Asia that was much cheaper before the UFC ponied up on health coverage.”
McMahon stated that there has been no shortage of promotions who want Marquardt to fight for them, which I can verify since I spoke to at least two promoters who mentioned they had enquired about acquiring the former King of Pancrase’s services. At least there won’t be any lack of opportunities for the married father of two.
The question is, with the growing prevalence of T deficiency in fighters like Marquardt and Chael Sonnen among others a condition that is strongly linked to the rigors of longterm weight cutting — is there a way to prevent it becoming an epidemic so incidents like these don’t happen more and more often? Is it worth the health risks for a slight weight advantage?