Exiled welterweight heads to the United Kingdom
British Associated of Mixed Martial Arts officials announced on Friday morning that they have come to an agreement on a multi-fight deal with former UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt.
“As soon as we received word that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission lifted Marquardt’s suspension, we jumped at the chance to sign him,” BAMMA’s Liam Fisher stated. “He is a top-ranked contender and an asset to any promotion. Words cannot express how excited we are that Marquardt is now fighting under the BAMMA banner.”
Marquardt ran afoul of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission in June after his testosterone levels were elevated above legal limits and was scratched from his UFC on Versus 4 main event with Rick Story. Dana White publicly fired Marquardt shortly after with a video released on Twitter. Marquardt was also suspended by the PSAC, but the suspension was lifted three weeks later after Marquardt’s testosterone levels were back within the allowable range.
Marquardt negotiated briefly with Bellator in the United States, but could not come to a contract agreement. Sources close to the promotion informed HeavyMMA.com that Marquardt was not willing to enter into a welterweight tournament in order to secure a title shot against Ben Askren. Marquardt instead chose to sign with Britain’s top independent mixed martial arts promotion.
“Now that my suspension has been lifted and I’ve found a home with a new fight promotion, I can move forward and turn my focus back to my fight career,” Marquardt stated. “This has been an extremely difficult time, and I’m very thankful to those who stood by me. I’m looking forward to getting back to fighting, and there are some guys out there that I would definitely like to get my hands on. I’m talking about the fighters that kicked me while I was down. BAMMA is known for signing top talent, so I may just get my chance.”
Marquardt said that he chose BAMMA at least partially due to the promotion’s efforts in testing for performance enhancing drugs.
“Offers came in from several fight promotions, but we felt that BAMMA was definitely the best fit,” Marquardt said. “They put on high-quality shows, stack their cards with top-level fighters, and sign those fighters to multi-fight deals. They are also the only fight organization in the U.K. that implements PED testing. To be honest, that is one of the main reasons that we chose BAMMA. I want to prove to my fans and to the world that I’m the real deal and that I belong on top.”
Marquardt has noted that he would like a fight with BAMMA welterweight Paul Daley.