The Segway of MMA: The Nate Marquardt News

Posted: June 29, 2011 in Marketing, PR, UFC

In 2001 the world waited on the edge of its collective seats for a product that was supposed to change the world….it to its dismay found the Segway.  Instead of a DeLorean that could travel back in time when it hits 88 mph it was given a motorized scooter that can travel up to 12 mph if you didn’t feel like walking.

Yesterday, the MMA world received its segway.

Just days before UFC on VERSUS 4 Dana White announced to the world that Nate Marquardt would not be in the main event that weekend – or in the UFC ever again.  What? A 14-time veteran of the Octagon, Marquardt was a fan favorite and perennial title contender.  What could he have done to be removed from the roster altogether? Drugs, steroids, gambling the rumors began to permeate…. Then the  story progressed, Dana White announced that Marquardt’s situation could not be discussed publically because of strict HIPAA laws, but still noted he was “disgusted” by Marquardt.

Well then, let’s up the anticipation.  For HIPAA to be flat out mentioned, it has to pertain to a medical problem. (Yes, the rumors from the start had to do with medical testing, but let’s be honest – you just assume a guy didn’t make weight when they say something that vague.)  However, for White to publically say he is disgusted with a fighter it must be really bad.  (Let’s be honest, White has a pretty high thresh hold for weird/gross things.)  More  rumors speculate…is it some sort of illness like hepatitis, or an infection like staph where Marquardt could have created a health concern for other fighters?

No.  Yesterday, on MMA Fighting’s MMA Hour, Nate Marquardt confirmed that testosterone replacement therapy was the culprit for his removal from the event and his dismissal from the organization.  Yes, we have Chael Sonnen all over again.  (Perhaps they traded medical history at UFC 109.)  Similar to Sonnen, Marquardt has said the treatments were prescribed by his doctor and both the UFC and state athletic commission were aware of his medical situation in advance of the VERSUS event.

Although this is a serious issue the sport needs to address moving forward, as a news story -this is a real dud.  The build-up had fans thinking the worst…this, is nothing more than a blip on the radar of the sport.  Marquardt is a stand up guy with an impeccable work ethic and record.  Banning him from the UFC and throwing around words like “disgusted” seem a bit extreme.

However, at the same time – do I think this is the whole story? No.  Hopefully the coming weeks will explain more to fans, but for now – the hype surrounding this was deserving of a blockbuster summer movie.  Forgive me if I don’t buy tickets in advance for the sequel….

  1. No shock to find its TRT that got him on the unemployment line. On one hand he’s not pulling a Scott Hall WWE, WCW, TNA etc. move by showing up slurring words and glassy eyed BUT PEDs and TRT are really black eyes on the sport. Let’s face it – you get older and of course over time your testosterone levels will drop and at age 36 you’ll have less than you did at 22. The problem is long-time roid abusers (and Nate did fail for a PED once already) eventually shut down test production from years of being on and off cycles. Then to get to “normal” levels they use TRT to put more gas in the tank so to speak. It’s a shame and as you pointed out the fans losing out on a main event on the cusp of the fight is really terrible. It wasn’t “Nate can’t make weight” it was just a long term case of PED abuse leading to TRT being needed for Nate’s wife to be able to ride Space Mountain. Woooooo!

  2. UPDATE: As many folks now know – Nate has signed with BAMMA. He will be a big fish in a small pond, but it is good to know he is going to be in action again.

  3. […] The Zuffa ban on Nate “The Great” Marquardt has been lifted as was signed by Strikeforce. My head is still wrapping itself around this one, but it can only help Strikeforce to get some quality talent while its remaining staff continue to jump to the UFC. […]

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