Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate
Marquardt will take on Jake
Ellenberger at UFC
UFC officials announced the news Tuesday morning via Twitter. UFC
158 takes place March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal and is
headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Georges St.
Pierre and challenger Nick Diaz.
Ellenberger was initially expected to face Johny
Hendricks at the event, but an injury to Rory
MacDonald allowed Hendricks to secure a pairing with Carlos
Condit in the evening’s co-main event.
Marquardt will step into the Octagon for the first time since March
2011, when he outpointed Dan Miller at
UFC 128. A former testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) patient,
“Nate the Great” received his UFC release after producing elevated
testosterone levels ahead of a planned clash with Rick Story.
One year later, the 33-year-old made his Strikeforce debut against
Woodley and captured the vacant welterweight title with a
ferocious flurry of elbows and punches. Most recently, Marquardt
relinquished his belt to Tarec
Saffiedine, falling via unanimous decision at Strikeforce’s
final show on Jan. 12.
Ellenberger has won seven of his last eight fights heading into his
showdown with Marquardt. “The Juggernaut” competed twice last year,
beginning 2012 with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over
Sanchez before sustaining a second-round technical knockout at
the hands of Martin
Kampmann. The 27-year-old was last seen on Oct. 5, when he
avenged his 2006 defeat to Jay Hieron by
taking a unanimous verdict from “The Thoroughbred” at UFC on FX 5.