Eight months after being fired by the UFC for elevated testosterone levels before a scheduled match with Rick Story, Nate Marquardt is back under the Zuffa umbrella. The former UFC middleweight contender has signed with Strikeforce, where he is expected to make his long-delayed welterweight debut later this year. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news on last night’s edition of UFC Tonight on FUEL.
MMA Junkie adds that Marquardt’s first opponent in Strikeforce could be undefeated (though occasionally boring) 170-pound contender Tyron Woodley, who holds victories over Jordan Mein, Paul Daley, and Andre Galvao; verbal agreements are reportedly in place for the matchup. With the Strikeforce welterweight title still vacant, a Marquardt vs. Woodley match could have great significance to the promotion. Could this be Nate’s first step back to the Octagon? Or does Woodley pull a Chael and out-wrestle Marquardt for three rounds?
Before signing with Strikeforce, Marquardt spent a fruitless six months signed to BAMMA, where his debut was postponed twice, leading Marquardt to part ways with the company in January. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 128 last March.