Former UFC middleweight title contender Nate
Marquardt Tuesday revealed that elevated testosterone levels
caused his sudden and unexpected withdrawal from UFC
In what was supposed to mark his welterweight debut, Marquardt was
to face Rick Story in
Sunday's main event at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. However,
on the day of the weigh-ins, Marquardt was denied medical clearance
by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission and pulled from the
contest that same day. The UFC found a replacement opponent for
Story in Charlie
Brenneman, and UFC president Dana White announced that
Marquardt was not only off the card, but also out of the
Appearing Tuesday on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani, Marquardt
explained that he began feeling “sluggish” and “moody” last summer.
Those feelings turned out to be symptoms of low testosterone,
according to the one-time middleweight title challenger.
“I was not medically cleared because of a situation I’ve been
dealing with since August. Last year, I was feeling sluggish and my
memory had gone out the window. I was irritable,” said Marquardt.
“I knew something was wrong. Felt like I was over-training when
that wasn't the case.”
The fighter asserted that he began testosterone replacement therapy
on the recommendation of his primary care physician. This carried
on until his fight with Dan Miller at
UFC 128 in March.
“I got the fight with Dan Miller in New Jersey, where I applied for
a therapeutic use exemption. They came back and said they would let
me fight this fight, but they wanted to make sure that I needed the
treatment. They said my doctor submitted paperwork that seemed
incomplete,” said Marquardt.
“They wanted me to go off treatment for eight weeks, take three
blood tests and have an endocrinologist examine them to make sure I
still needed treatment. The endocrinologist wrote out a letter that
said I had low testosterone and I was a candidate for hormone
replacement therapy and that I should go back on treatment.”
By the time the eight-week cycle had been completed, Marquardt was
three weeks away from his fight at UFC Live 4. In light of close
proximity to the fight, Marquardt claims his doctor recommended he
undergo more aggressive treatment in order to combat his symptoms
and bring his levels back up to normal.
“[My doctor] said [therapy] wouldn't make me feel better by the
time of my fight unless we did a more aggressive treatment,” said
Marquardt. “So I was on the treatment for two weeks and I took a
blood test, which is normal throughout treatment to make sure
you're in normal ranges. That test came back high. At that point,
my doctor said I should go off treatment and hope that I was down
to normal levels. At that point, I was panicked.”
Though Marquardt says his levels did drop during the week of the
fight, they did not drop quickly enough. The day before the
weigh-ins, his level was still too high, and he was suspended by
the commission. However, Marquardt said that he took another test
on the day of the fight and found his levels were within range.
“The week of the fight, I requested several tests. Each test showed
my levels were going down. I took a test on weigh-in day, and it
was still above the range that that commission was going to let me
fight,” said Marquardt.
“At that point, I was told that I was going to be put on
suspension. The day of the fight, I woke up and took a test. That
test came back well within ranges. I took a test with a doctor from
the commission yesterday, and it had gone down even more so.”
Though Marquardt asserted that he has been honest and he has
communicated through the entire process, he did admit that he
should have been more informed during his recent therapy.
“We knew I had to be within range. I should have requested testing
earlier. That's one of the biggest mistakes I made was not
requesting blood tests earlier from my doctor,” said Marquardt. “We
knew I had to be within range. I should have requested blood tests
earlier from my doctor. I'm not a doctor, but I have to take
responsibility. My doctor wasn't fighting. I’m the one fighting,
and I messed up. There are things I should have done, and I have to
take responsibility for that.””
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission will meet tomorrow to
discuss Marquardt's suspension.
“I spoke to [Commissioner Gregory Sirb] today, and he said I’d
essentially met the requirements for my suspension to be lifted,”
Marquardt had split his last four bouts in the Octagon before
receiving his walking papers. After falling to Chael Sonnen
to begin 2010, “The Great” rebounded with a TKO victory over
Palhares in September before closing out the year with a
unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami
in November. Marquardt started 2011 with a victory, besting Dan
Miller at UFC 128 in March.
Though Marquardt admitted his weight cut may have increased his
levels due to his dehydration, the fighter believes that the cut
was not the source of his problems and intends to stay in the
“I'll definitely still be at 170 pounds,” said Marquardt. “If my
levels weren't elevated in the first place, the weight cut wouldn't
have made the test higher.”
In regard to his UFC future, Marquardt said he was not surprised
that White released him. However, Marquardt hopes that he can
overcome the setbacks and return to the UFC.
“It's a nightmare. It's very stressful. At the same time, I lean on
my faith in God, and my wife has been so supportive. I’m such a
blessed man,” said an emotional Marquardt through tears. “I want to
apologize to the fans. I feel like I let them down. 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.”