(Pictured above: The REAL reason Nate Marquardt got fired.)
When taking a look at Nate Marquardt‘s Sherdog profile, we were kind of shocked to find that it has only been a little over a year since he last fought. Perhaps it was a result of his repeated delays when signed under the BAMMA banner some 6 months ago, but it feels like it has been a long time since we’ve seen the one-time UFC middleweight title contender in action. Like Gina Carano long.
And go figure, it all began with TRT. Because it always begins with TRT. After going 2-2 in his last four UFC fights, including a most recent UD win over Dan Miller at UFC 128, Marquardt was expected to make his welterweight debut against Rick Story at the main event of UFC Live 4. Things took a turn for the worse, however, when he was pulled from the card at the last minute for elevated testosterone levels. He was subsequently ousted by the UFC and replaced by Charlie Brenneman, who went on to score the upset over Story and completely derail his hype train.
News broke in February that Marquardt had signed with Strikeforce and was expected to face Tyron Woodley. No date was set for his ever-elusive welterweight debut, likely due to the fact that the Strikeforce website developers hadn’t yet learned how to spell Marquardt and couldn’t afford to scan the Word document twice.
Well, ladies and gents, a date has finally been set for the return of “The Great.” Though the fight has yet to be confirmed by Strikeforce, it has been reportedly scheduled for the main card of the Heavyweight Tournament Finals match between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier on May 19th. Also scheduled for this card is the mildly anticipated trilogy match between Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson for the lightweight title.
And according to Marquardt, his match against Woodley is going to be for the vacant welterweight title. Not bad for a guy who was among the men DW said would never fight for Zuffa again. Here’s what Marquardt told Inside MMA during a recent interview:
It’s the best outcome I could have imagined, with all this. Like I said. Back with Zuffa. Back in a title fight for my first fight back, it’s amazing. From what I understand, that’s who I’ll be fighting is Tyron Woodley. I also understand it’s gonna be a five round title fight for the 170 pound title. You know, he’s a smart fighter, but at the same time, I have a lot more experience than him. It’s gonna be my fight to dictate where it goes.
Dear God, we hope so. Woodley’s recent performances have been nothing short of Askrenian in terms of excitement, and we would really like to see him forced to resort to something other than his wrestling base.
The tentatively titled Strikeforce 40 goes down from the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California on May 19th.
So who do you like for this one, Potato Nation?