Bellator 'interested' in signing Nate Marquardt but waiting for Pennsylvania Athletic Commission ruling


Ever since Nate Marquardt was unceremoniously dumped by UFC just one day before he was scheduled to compete at UFC on Versus 4 this past June 26 thanks to issues with testosterone replacement therapy, it's been all the rage to speculate on where he'll end up.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker made an announcement that a "mystery welterweight" was on his way to the San Jose, which had many assuming it was "The Great."

Then reports surfaced that the former UFC middleweight title contender was in talks with Bellator, with some outlets saying he was already tendered a contract offer.

All of which appears to be, at the time being at least, false.

Thankfully, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney appeared on MMA Live to answer whether or not his promotion is on the verge of signing Marquardt or even if they have interest in doing so.

"We all recognize he's a very talented fighter. And I'm as interested like you are to see how the situation plays out with the commission over the coming weeks. Anybody who would tell you that they're not interested in Nate as he becomes available, a guy of that caliber, would be lying to you. So, sure, we're interested but let's see how things play out over the next couple weeks with the commission and then we can go from there."

It's always a variation of the cat and mouse game, as expected.

If signed, Marquardt could step in immediately as a challenger to either Ben Askren and his welterweight title or Hector Lombard and his middleweight strap.

Both fighters have spent time recently calling out the embattled "Great."

But if Nate makes his way to Bellator, which division would Rebney send him to?

"I don't know (if he would be a welterweight or a middleweight). What is he, top seven ranked in the world as a 185-pounder? You're looking to take that strength and that ability down to (170-pounds), I mean, he would be a pretty dominant physical force down at 170-pounds. So, I don't know. Really not that deeply into it. But as a fan looking at it, I'd like to see him fight at (185-pounds) and I'd like to see him fight at (170-pounds). So, see where he wants to go."

Essentially, it's up to the fighter. Got it.

Marquardt may still be fully supporting the Twitter campaign to bring him back to the UFC but it's not even making a dent in Dana White's armor.

And now that Zuffa owns Strikeforce, Bellator would seem the most likely destination for Marquardt and his still considerable talents.

Sound good? And if so, which division would better suit him -- welterweight and Akren or middleweight and Lombard?

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