"Great" news from the United Kingdom.
Former UFC middleweight number one contender Nate Marquardt has signed to compete under the banner of The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA).
Why did he choose BAMMA?
"Offers came in from several fight promotions, but we felt that BAMMA was definitely the best fit," Marquardt said in today's release. "They put on high-quality shows, stack their cards with top-level fighters, and sign those fighters to multi-fight deals. They are also the only fight organization in the UK that implements PED testing. To be honest, that is one of the main reasons that we chose BAMMA. I want to prove to my fans and to the world that I'm the real deal and that I belong on top."
Marquardt failed his pre-fight medical exam prior to the UFC on Versus 4 event last month in Pittsburgh, leaving his former employer in a last-minute scramble to find a new main event after the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission (PSAC) barred him from participating.
It turns out the testosterone levels in his blood stream were too "Great" to let him compete after multiple blood tests revealed he was not within acceptable ranges for competition.
The spike was blamed on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which Marquardt later admitted to using to combat the combined effects of his age and history of professional fighting.
UFC President Dana White booted him from the Zuffa roster after he threw the June 26 fight card into turmoil just 24 hours before it was set to air live on the Versus network. Charlie Brenneman was able to step in on super-short notice to fight Rick Story, but it didn't do anything to preserve Marquardt's employment.
Nevertheless, he's served his suspension and after briefly flirting with Bellator Fighting Championships following call-outs from Ben Askren and Hector Lombard, the three-time middleweight "King of Pancrase" found his home across the pond.
And the promotion couldn't be happier.
“As soon as we received word that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission lifted Marquardt’s suspension we jumped at the chance to sign him," said BAMMA's Liam Fisher. "He is a top ranked contender and an asset to any promotion. Words cannot express how excited we are that Marquardt is now fighting under the BAMMA banner.”
BAMMA is excited. Marquardt is excited. But what about the fans? Does today's announcement get you excited?
An opponent for his pending debut has yet to be determined, but if he's committed to a welterweight debut, Paul Daley is no stranger to the UK fight scene.
Time will tell.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details on Marquardt's BAMMA debut as they become available.