Nate Marquardt Joins Strikeforce Ranks

Nate Marquardt. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.

Almost a year after being released by the UFC after a pre-fight medical fiasco, former middleweight title challenger is headed back to Zuffa, this time to compete as a welterweight under the Strikeforce banner.

The signing was announced on last night's edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV. While a date for his return has not been yet, Marquardt has reportedly verbally agreed to face Tyron Woodley in a fight that could be for Strikeforce's vacant welterweight belt.

Marquardt was released from the UFC after failing to gain medical clearance prior to UFC on Versus 4. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission stated that Marquardt's pre-fight testosterone levels were too high to allow him to compete. In the following weeks, Marquardt and his camp revealed that he was approved for hormone-replacement therapy, but was unable to get his levels down to an allowable amount before his scheduled fight with Rick Story.

Since being forced to leave the UFC, Marquardt has not fought. He signed a deal with English-promotion BAMMA to face fellow UFC vet Yoshiyuki Yoshida earlier this month but subsequently asked for his release after BAMMA postponed the fight.

Woodley has won all ten of his pro bouts to date, including eight inside of Strikeforce. He has been openly campaigning for a title shot for over a year and the cries have also increased since Nick Diaz surrended the promotion's welterweight belt in favor of jumping to the UFC. The standout wrestler has earned decisions over Paul Daley and Jordan Mein in his last two appearances.

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