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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The mystery surrounding Nate Marquardt's failed medical exam prior to his scheduled UFC on Versus 4 fight with Rick Story hit a new level of intrigue with expanded comments from UFC President Dana White during the event's pre-game show on Saturday night.
Hampered by what both White and PSAC executive director Greg Sirb chategorized as stricter HIPAA laws in the state of Pennsylvania regarding medical privacy, White couldn't reveal what Marquardt issue was, but his description of the situation will keep the speculation running rampant.
"I think it's pretty clear to the fans and everybody else that I'm pretty disgusted with Nate Marquardt," White said to Stephan Bonnar, Ariel Helwani and Todd Harris on the pre-fight show. "He's been cut from the UFC, he won't fight in the UFC ever again. We've got to follow these guidelines with the [HIPAA Act] and blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is, what Nate Marquardt did was bad enough to be cut from the UFC."
White couldn't divulge anything further, but he continued to bury Marquardt with his descriptions of his feelings on what happened.
"He didn't pass his medicals, it's the way that it has to be said here," he said. "He's cut from the UFC, I'm disgusted with him, he has no business fighting in the UFC... We all make mistakes, people make mistakes, it's how you handle it. And Nate Marquardt's a nice guy. He always says the right things and is a nice guy. But being nice/acting nice, and doing the right thing are two different things."
Because of the privacy laws, the focus will shift to Marquardt, who is now really the only one that can clear the air on any of this with speculation set to reach new heights in this situation. For White's part, he believes if Marquardt comes clean people will understand why he feels the way he does.
"Because of the laws in the state of Pennsylvania, Nate Marquardt's going to need to man up and come out and tell the world why he didn't pass his medicals," White said. "When he does that I think everybody will understand why he was cut from the UFC."
Marquardt plans to do just that on Tuesday, according to his management team at Alchemist MMA, but that won't be likely to sway White, who made it clear this wasn't an instance of him disliking a fighter and taking it out on him, saying Marquardt has gotten second chances in the past.
"I don't know [if he can redeem himself]," White said. "If you look at how I've really treated fighters over the last ten years, I give a lot of guys chances and know that everybody makes mistakes, and Nate Marquardt has been one of those guys. So for me to come out and say he's not going to fight in the UFC anymore, it's got to be serious."
And so the story continues on with eyes moving to Tuesday and what will hopefully be more information from Marquardt to make more sense of what has gone on this weekend. For now, fans will fill in their own blanks.
Penick's Analysis: Speculation has been bad enough in the last day and it's only going to get worse by the time Marquardt says something on Tuesday. I understand this is a trying time for him, his family, his friends, his camp and everything, but no one is going to be patient or give him the benefit of the doubt on anything after these comments from White. It sounds like it would have to be fairly egregious to warrant this type of reaction, and though we'll hopefully get something out of Marquardt, it would almost be better for him to get to it in quicker fashion to at least have his story out there. Silence can be damning in situations like these, and these are rough comments from White.
[Dana White art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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