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Nate Marquardt Bio

Nathan Joel "Nate" Marquardt (born April 20, 1979) is an American mixed martial artist competing in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 1999, he is a former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and a three-time Pancrase Middleweight Champion.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Pancrase
    • 2.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship
      • 2.2.1 Middleweight title shot
      • 2.2.2 Road back to title contention
      • 2.2.3 Drop to welterweight and release from UFC
    • 2.3 BAMMA
    • 2.4 Strikeforce
    • 2.5 Return to UFC
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Championships and accomplishments
  • 5 Mixed martial arts record
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


Marquardt was born in Lander, Wyoming and raised along with his four other siblings in Denver, Colorado. Marquardt's late father was a Lutheran pastor, worked in construction, and was also a former Marine who fought in the Vietnam War. Marquardt's mother was a nurse and a manager at an attorney's office. Because of his father's work he and his family moved around frequently to places including Chicago, Illinois, and Indiana. Marquardt's parents divorced when he was eight years old, and the young Marquardt moved to Colorado. When he was 15 years old, he began studying the disciplines of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jujutsu, kickboxing, and kenpo. Present Marquardt's fighting style derived from his fights in Pancrase under the leadership of Sheldon Marr from Colorado. Sheldon Marr is the co-founder of the World Combat JuJitsu Association and he was a Junior National Judo Champion, and a California State Wrestling Champion and has been recognized as the "Instructor of the Year" by Jujitsu America, the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Famer, the World Martial Arts Hall of Famer, and the International Black Belt Hall of Fame; and was a Coach for the 2000 U.S. World Pankration Team, and the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 U.S. World Grappling Teams. Marquardt also trained with Shane Pitts in Colorado before he went to Jackson's MMA. Shane Pitts trained Marquardt in Japanese jujutsu for three years and gave him a black belt. Pitts is the founder of Law Enforcement Ground Tactics System, holder of five black belts in martial arts, a former World Masters Judo Champion, World Combat Jujitsu Association National Champion and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pan American Masters Division Champion. Marquardt also trained with Mike Van Arsdale and also trained Pancrase with Sanae Kikuta in the GRABAKA Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. Marquardt was active in other sports as well, including basketball and soccer, at Wheat Ridge High School and also began taking freestyle wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons when he was 18 years old under the instruction of Ricardo Murgel.

Mixed martial arts career


Marquardt began his professional mixed martial arts career in 1999, and amassing victories in various promotions before entering the Bas Rutten Invitational 4 tournament, which was organized in such a manner that the tournament winner was to be offered a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Despite winning the tournament, Marquardt was offered no such contract. Instead, he signed with Japan's Pancrase organization, which had fostered such fighters as Ken Shamrock and Bas Rutten. In his first Pancrase fight, Marquardt lost via submission to Genki Sudo.

Invited back to Pancrase for a middleweight elimination tournament, Marquardt defeated Daiju Takase, Kiuma Kunioku, and Shonie Carter to become the first middleweight King of Pancrase. Marquardt defended this title twice before being defeated by Kunioku in December 2001. A final encounter between the two fighters in December 2002 saw Marquardt defeat Kunioku once again to recapture the King of Pancrase championship, which he held for nearly a year.

On November 30, 2003, Marquardt was involved in a brief altercation with Ricardo Almeida in a Pancrase title fight. Marquardt tapped out to a guillotine choke, however, the referee was unable to immediately separate the fighters, and the choke remained applied around Marquardt's neck. After he was freed, Marquardt threw a strike at Almeida's face, prompting both corners to storm into the ring, including Renzo Gracie. Renzo was cornering Almeida, and once in the ring he kicked Marquardt in the face. The confrontation eventually came to an end, and Marquardt approached Almeida after the bout to congratulate him. After Almeida vacated his title in July 2004, Marquardt proceeded to regain the championship in a victory over Kazuo Misaki at Pancrase: Brave 10.

On May 1, 2005, Marquardt defeated Izuru Takeuchi, winning the Pancrase Middleweight Championship for the seventh time, becoming the only fighter to ever accomplish such a feat.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Marquardt made his UFC debut on August 6, 2005, live on Spike TV, headlining the inaugural Ultimate Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Marquardt earned a unanimous decision victory over UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry, a post-fight drug test revealed high levels of nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, in Marquardt's system which led to the Nevada State Athletic Commission filing for his suspension. Marquardt maintains that he only used over-the-counter supplements in preparation for the fight. Marquardt was initially suspended for six months and assessed no fine. Marquardt's suspension was reduced to five months and he was reinstated in January 2006.

With the drug testing controversy resolved, Marquardt was set to make his return at UFC 58, against veteran Joe Doerksen. The fight proved to be a successful endeavor for Marquardt, as he won a unanimous decision. In the post-fight interview, Marquardt stated his goals of capturing the UFC Middleweight Championship and his intention to fight then-champion Rich Franklin. Marquardt then fought Crafton Wallace, a replacement for Marquardt's original opponent, Thales Leites, on the undercard of Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter on October 10, 2006. Marquardt won by rear-naked choke in the second round. Due to his commitment to the UFC, Marquardt relinquished his title as the Pancrase Middleweight Championship that same month.

At UFC Fight Night 8, Marquardt notched a dominant unanimous three-round decision victory over ADCC Champion grappler Dean Lister that saw two judges score the bout 30-25 for Marquardt.

Middleweight title shot

Following that victory and a 4-0 debut in the UFC, Marquardt was scheduled to compete for the UFC Middleweight Championship held by Anderson Silva on July 7, 2007 at UFC 73. Marquardt lost the championship bout by TKO due to strikes at 4:50 in the first round of the fight.

Road back to title contention

After early speculation that Marquardt's contract with the UFC could expire without renewal, he confirmed that a new agreement had been signed with the organization. Marquardt's next match was to be against Thales Leites at UFC 81, but Leites withdrew from the bout due to an injured hand. This marked the second time that a bout between Leites and Marquardt had been cancelled. On January 9, the UFC announced that veteran Jeremy Horn would be Leites' replacement. Marquardt defeated Horn via guillotine choke in the second round.

Marquardt finally fought Thales Leites at UFC 85, a fight that had been postponed on two separate occasions since 2006. Marquardt and Leites had a close fight but Marquardt landed an illegal knee strike to the head of Leites in the second round. In the third round Marquardt landed an elbow to the side of the head of Leites. The deducted points proved to be crucial as Leites was deemed victorious in a very close split decision, giving Leites a title shot against Anderson Silva. Marquardt was next scheduled to face Martin Kampmann at UFC 88. Nate defeated Kampmann in 82 seconds by throwing a head kick and landing a barrage of strikes to take the win by TKO in the first round.

Marquardt obtained a second straight win to launch himself back into the title picture at UFC 95, when he defeated well-regarded Brazilian fighter Wilson Gouveia with another barrage of strikes to earn a third-round TKO.

Marquardt's next fight was against the then-undefeated submission specialist Demian Maia at UFC 102, which he won via KO 21 seconds into the first round by landing a counter straight right as Maia threw a leaping leg kick. Maia fell face down, unable to protect himself. Nate rushed in to follow up with a right hook, but stopped himself once he saw that Maia was visibly hurt.

Following his victory over Maia, Marquardt was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson to determine number one contendership to Silva's Middleweight Championship. Henderson left the UFC for Strikeforce after attempts to agree on a new contract failed. A new bout was arranged between Marquardt and American wrestler Chael Sonnen, scheduled for UFC 110 and later moved to UFC 109. Marquardt was taken down at will by Sonnen multiple times during each round. Although able to lock in a guillotine choke late in the third round, Marquardt was not able to finish the submission attempt and lost the fight in an upset via unanimous decision.

Marquardt was expected to face Alessio Sakara on July 3, 2010 at UFC 116 but the fight was cancelled after Sakara pulled out due to the death of his father.

Marquardt was expected to face Rousimar Palhares on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118, however the bout was moved to September 15, 2010 to headline UFC Fight Night 22 after Alan Belcher was forced to pull out of his bout with Demian Maia with an eye injury. Marquardt defeated Palhares via first-round TKO. During the fight, Palhares went for a heel-hook from which Marquardt slipped his leg free and Palhares looked at the referee and pointed to Marquardt's legs, seemingly complaining that Marquardt was greased. Marquardt capitalized on the opening and pounded Palhares with a quick barrage of punches to get the stoppage. The ending, though, was not due to any illegal circumstances. UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan immediately announced that Marquardt had passed an inspection from the ringside physician and the referee. Marquardt explained that before the fight; "I came out really warm because I wanted a good sweat," which explains why he was slippery and managed to remain elusive.

Less than a week after his win over Palhares, Marquardt was tapped to make a quick return to the Octagon to face Yushin Okami in a middleweight title eliminator bout on November 13, 2010 at UFC 122, replacing Vitor Belfort, as Vitor was promoted to a title fight because of Chael Sonnen's suspension for PEDs. Marquardt lost to Okami via unanimous decision.

Marquardt was expected to face Yoshihiro Akiyama on March 19, 2011 at UFC 128. However, Akiyama pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Dan Miller. Marquardt won the fight via unanimous decision.

Drop to welterweight and release from UFC

After defeating Miller, Nate's teammate, Georges St-Pierre, gave him the idea of dropping down to the welterweight division. Marquardt was expected to debut at welterweight against Anthony Johnson on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4. However, Johnson was forced out of the bout with a shoulder injury and replaced by Rick Story. Marquardt pulled out of the fight with Story the day of the weigh-ins due to not receiving medical clearance. The UFC at the UFC on Versus 4 weigh-in announced that Marquardt did not pass the required physical. According to a video posted by Dana White on his Twitter, Marquardt was released by the UFC due to failing "medical requirements".

On June 28, 2011, Nate appeared on MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and stated that in August 2010 he felt tired and moody and his doctor discovered he had low testosterone levels. That doctor put Nate on hormone replacement therapy, and when Nate applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption with the New Jersey state commission, they allowed it but declared that he must go off the therapy for ten weeks, then have his levels retested by a specialist to determine if he really needs to be on the therapy or not. At the end of that period, both the specialist and Nate's primary doctor agreed his levels really were low and he was a candidate for replacement therapy. Nate's primary doctor injected him with testosterone to quickly get his levels back up in time for his scheduled fight against Story. The Pennsylvania commission had set standards for what his testosterone levels could be at fight time and Nate's levels, though trending down over the last week before the fight, still failed to fall to within the range required in time for him to be cleared to fight. Nate claimed that he retook tests on the day of the fight and was actually within qualifying limits, thus having his suspension lifted by the commission.


Shortly after having his suspension lifted by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, Marquardt signed with top U.K. fight promotion BAMMA, the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts. He told that a large part of the reason for signing with BAMMA was that even though the U.K. does not conduct governmental sanctioning of MMA, BAMMA officials were moving ahead with their own plans to self-regulate, including medical screening and drug testing.

He was set to make his promotional debut at BAMMA 9: Marquardt vs Yoshida on February 11, 2012 against Yoshiyuki Yoshida to determine the inaugural BAMMA World Welterweight Champion.

On January 13, 2012, Marquardt was released from his contract with BAMMA officially due to the promotion pushing back BAMMA 9, and therefore his promotional debut, to March 24, 2012.


Dana White announced that Marquardt had signed with Strikeforce. His debut took place at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy against Tyron Woodley in a bout for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. Nate knocked out Woodley in the fourth round, becoming the new Strikeforce Welterweight Champion.

Marquardt's first defense was against Tarec Saffiedine on January 12, 2013 at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. He lost the belt via unanimous decision.

Return to UFC

Marquardt faced Jake Ellenberger on March 16, 2013 at UFC 158. He lost the bout via first round KO.

Marquardt faced Hector Lombard on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Marquardt made a return to the middleweight division to face James Te-Huna on June 28, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 43. He won the fight via first round submission due to straight armbar.

Marquardt faced Brad Tavares on January 3, 2015 at UFC 182. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.

Marquardt faced Kelvin Gastelum on June 13, 2015 at UFC 188. He lost the fight via TKO after his corner stopped the fight between the second and third round.

Marquardt faced C.B. Dollaway on December 19, 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight via knockout in the second round.

Marquardt next faced Thiago Santos on May 14, 2016 at UFC 198. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Marquardt next faced Tamdan McCrory on October 1, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 96. Marquardt won the fight via knockout in the second round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.

Marquardt faced Sam Alvey on January 28, 2017 at UFC on Fox 23. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Marquardt faced Vitor Belfort on June 3, 3017 at UFC 212. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Marquardt is expected to face Cezar Ferreira on November 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 120.

Personal life

Marquardt is married. The couple had their first child together on May 18, 2010. Nate also has a daughter, Emmalie from a previous relationship. Marquardt has an older brother who is in the United States Air Force.

Marquardt is a Christian. Marquardt has said his faith is the most important thing in his life.

Marquardt made a short cameo appearance in the beginning of MC Hammer's music video for the Jay-Z diss track, "Better Run Run" along with Brendan Schaub, Eliot Marshall, and trainer Trevor Wittman. Marquardt also had a small screen appearance in the movie Warrior as Karl "The Dane" Kruller.

Championships and accomplishments

  • Strikeforce
    • Strikeforce Welterweight Championship (One time)
    • Fought the last fight in Strikeforce History
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Headlined the First UFC Fight Night
    • Knockout of the Night (One time)
    • Fight of the Night (One time)
    • Performance of the Night (Two times)
  • Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling
    • Pancrase Middleweight Championship (Three times, First)
    • 2002 Pancrase Spirit Tour Champion
    • 2000 King of Pancrase Middleweight Tournament Champion
  • Ring of Fire
    • 2000 Ring of Fire Middleweight Championship (One time)
  • World Vale Tudo Federation
    • 1999 World Vale Tudo Federation Championship (One time)
  • Bas Rutten Invitational
    • 1999 Bas Rutten Invitational 4 Lightweight Championship (One time)
  • Rumble In The Rockies
    • 1999 I.M.A. Rumble In The Rockies Championship (One time)
    • 2010 True Warrior Award

Mixed martial arts record

See also

  • List of current UFC fighters
  • List of male mixed martial artists
  • List of Pancrase champions

External links

  • Official website
  • Professional MMA record for Nathan Marquardt from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • Nate Marquardt fighter profile from UFC

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