Speculation continues to spread about the medical issue that forced Nate Marquardt to be removed from last night’s UFC on Versus 4 main event, and subsequently fired by the UFC after failing his medical examination on Saturday.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission handed Marquardt an indefinite suspension as a result of his failure to receive medical clearance. While the cause of the medical issue has yet to be revealed, a failed drug test can be ruled out.
According to a report on MMAFighting.com, a fighter must submit a negative HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B surface antigen exam as well as the results of an annual medical exam. The annual exam covers many issues relating to vision, lungs, heart rate, the nervous system, coordination, etc. All of these results are private and kept confidential under federal HIPAA laws. However, Federal and Pennsylvania state law do not prohibit disclosure of a positive drug test result, nor the type of drug which led to the failed drug test.
“I’ve been here 22 years and we do not embarrass anybody,” PSAC executive director Gregory Sirb told MMA Fighting. “But we would have said, ‘drug test.'”
Marquardt was dropping from middleweight to welterweight for the first time, but all indications were that the weight cut was going smoothly and that the fighter would be healthy enough to compete against Story. Sirb stated that while he is unable to reveal the exact reason for Marquardt’s removal, Marquardt had six weeks to complete whatever medical requirements he eventually failed.
“He was licensed [pending medical clearance],” said Sirb. “He completed all his paperwork for licensing probably a week before… He knew full well what the ramifications were, whether licensed or not.”
“What Nate Marquardt did is bad enough to be cut from the UFC,” said UFC President Dana White on the UFC On Versus pre-game show. “Because of the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, Nate Marquardt is going to have to man up and come out and tell the world why he didn’t pass his medicals… and when he does that, I think everybody will understand why he was cut by the UFC.”
Though Marquardt no longer retains his position on the UFC roster and is currently suspended, he will be allowed to return to MMA competition — once he completes the requirements of the PSAC.
Marquardt stated on Sunday evening that he will address his failed medicals tomorrow.
“I will personally be addressing all issues regarding my medicals, etc this Tuesday,” Marquardt wrote on his Twitter account last night.
His camp also released the following statement on Sunday evening’s UFC on Versus 4 pre-game show.
“Today, Nate Marquardt was not medically cleared by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission at UFC On Versus 4. Nate was looking forward to making his welterweight debut and is disappointed by this unfortunate turn of events.
“Nate wants to apologize to his family, friends, fans and the UFC. This outcome was certainly not what he wanted. At this time, Nate wants to be with those closest to him so he can evaluate his situation over the coming days.”
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.