There’s some good news on the Strikeforce front at last – they’ve just signed former UFC star Nate Marquardt.
Marquart is now set to finally make his welterweight debut against Tyron Woodley at an upcoming Strikeforce event.
The acquisition brings Marquardt back into the Zuffa fold less than a year after he was kicked out of the UFC after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone a day prior to a headlining fight with Rick Story at ‘UFC On Versus 5’.
In the days following that incident it emerged that Marquardt had a medical condition which had resulted in him being put on testosterone replacement therapy by his doctor and within days he was able to prove that he had now fallen back within normal limits for the treatment, but while that resulted in the New Jersey State Athletic Commission lifting a suspension on him the door to return to the UFC appeared to be firmly shut.
Now a free agent Marquardt was courted by a variety of MMA promotions before somewhat surprisingly signing for UK promotion BAMMA, however the deal turned sour after his debut was delayed several times and so earlier this year he announced that he had released himself from the contract.
At that stage UFC president Dana White hinted at a softening in his own stance regarding Marquard, refusing to rule out the possibility of re-signing him, and while that lead to speculation that a return to the UFC was on the cards it’s lead to him becoming the latest addition to Strikeforce’s roster instead.
Needless to say after spending much of the last year out in the wilderness Marquardt himself is thrilled by the news.
“Thanks so much for the opportunity to prove myself!! I can’t wait!!!” Marquardt told both White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on Twitter, before adding, “I also want to thank my fans for their continued support. You guys are the best! Thank u so much!”
While it’s a good move for Marquardt it’s also a very good one for Strikeforce too as their welterweight division has suffered in terms of star power and quality since Nick Diaz vacated his title to move to compete in the UFC.
Aside from Woodley who was up until this point the division’s top contender with a 10-0 record, other notable fighters in the 170lb ranks include Paul Daley, Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos, Tarec Saffiediene and Kazou Misaki.