Nate Marquardt and his manager Lex McMahon appeared today on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour to discuss for the first time the fighter’s eleventh hour removal from last weekend’s UFC on Versus 4 main event and subsequent firing from the UFC.
The situation which Marquardt and McMahon described seemed to paint a different picture than the one UFC president Dana White described as making him feel “disgusted.”
According to Marquardt, who apparently told host Ariel Helwani to ask questions freely without any filter, he lost his job — permanently, according to White — as a result of an unfortunate situation stemming from his usage of synthetic testosterone for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
“I was not medically cleared because of a situation I’ve been dealing with since August,” said Marquardt. “Last year, I was feeling sluggish and my memory had gone out the window. I was irritable; I knew something was wrong. Felt like I was over-training when that wasn’t the case.”
Keeping an open dialogue with the UFC throughout, Marquardt underwent HRT during his last three bouts, against Rousimar Palhares, Yushin Okami and Dan Miller. Prior to facing Dan Miller, Marquardt was granted by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission a temporary approval for HRT, pending that, for eight weeks following the event, he cease the treatment and be regularly tested in order to prove that his regular testosterone levels were low enough to warrant HRT.
As a result of that eight week period without treatment, Marquardt’s levels fell low again, prompting his doctor to give him a double-dosage prior to his previously agreed upon bout with Rick Story. When his levels spiked as a result, Marquardt ceased therapy and monitored his testosterone levels everyday, expecting them to drop within the allowable limit as set by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
“The week of the fight I requested several tests,” Marquardt said. “Each test showed that the levels were going down. I took a test on weigh-in day, and it was still above the range the athletic commission was going to let me fight.”
Marquardt revealed that his testosterone levels had fallen within range by fight day.
It was also revealed that Marqaurdt and his representation had met with PSAC head Gregory Sirb and that Marquardt was informed he had “essentially met the requirements for my suspension to be lifted,” with the PSAC to meet later this week to officially discuss “The Great’s” future.
Though his future in regards to the UFC is up in the air at best, Marquardt is still planning to return and make his welterweight debut when this situation is resolved, in the promotion or out.
At the end of the day, an open, honest and remorseful Marquardt owned up to his share of the guilt in not more closely monitoring his treatment and issued a simple apology to those he let down or inconvenienced.
“I want to apologize to the fans. I feel like I let them down,” said Marquardt. “I feel like I let my family down, and I obviously upset the UFC and my sponsors. I just hope everyone can forgive me. I’m trying my best.”
It seems that the main difference between Marquardt’s situation and Chael Sonnen’s recent tangle with the California State Athletic Commission is that Sonnen tested positive post-fight, yet he garnered the sympathy and support of Dana White and looks to be keeping his job in the promotion once he’s cleared to return to the cage. As such, it appears as though the issue lies in costing the UFC a main event (and a dime) as opposed to the moral correctness of HRT.