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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Nate Marquardt has not had a good year. He was released from the UFC after being removed from the UFC on Versus event last June on the day of the weigh-ins for an elevated testosterone level, and he hasn't fought since.
Marquardt blamed an aggressively prescribed regiment of testosterone replacement therapy for the high levels, and the Pennsylvania athletic commission gave him a chance to get his levels into range, which didn't happen until days after the event. He was, however, ultimately given a reprieve, and was cleared to fight again when his levels got back to normal.
Now, he's set to return to the Zuffa fold in Strikeforce, and despite that situation last year, he may be headed towards a title fight in Strikeforce's welterweight division. Speaking with HDNet's Inside MMA, Marquardt said it's his understanding that his debut will indeed by in a five-round title fight.
"It's the best outcome I could have imagined, with all this," Marquardt said (transcribed by MMAMania.com). "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."
Where and when this fight will take place has not yet been determined, but it definitely appears to be the logical fight following his signing earlier this year.
Penick's Analysis: If you recall Dana White's vitriolic reaction to Marquardt's issues last year, it kind of echoes how he's reacted to Alistair Overeem's situation. He clearly doesn't buy Marquardt's TRT issue because Marquardt had been caught for PEDs once before in his career, and so many viewed that as the cause of his low testosterone. He probably feels the same way about Overeem, especially when Overeem swore to he and Lorenzo Fertitta that he wasn't on anything. As for this title fight, it's going to be a very interesting situation for Strikeforce and Marquardt, especially if he's still undergoing the treatment. He's already been rejected for the treatment by the New Jersey commission after a lengthy process, and if he is going to still be undergoing TRT in a state that does grant an exception he'll need to go through that process to get one. If he's shopped around to a state that doesn't grant TUEs, he'll need to keep his T/E ratio undetectable or he'll face suspensions regardless of TRT. It's a murky, murky situation with the TRT scenario. so we'll have to see what route they take.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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