Nate Marquardt returns to Zuffa, next fight will happen under Strikeforce banner

He's baaaaaaack! Sorta. Embattled Nate Marquardt returns to the Zuffa fray, but will compete for Strikeforce rather than his old UFC stomping grounds.

Get ready, Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley because former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight number one contender Nate Marquardt has been added to the Strikeforce welterweight roster.

The announcement was made tonight (Feb. 21, 2012) on Fuel TV's weekly "UFC Tonight" program.

An opponent and a date for his long-awaited 170-pound debut has yet to be announced, but now it appears that it will finally happen after months on the sidelines and between mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions.

Marquardt, who just last month requested and received his release from the U.K.-based UK BAMMA organization after never stepping foot inside the cage, was fired furiously from the UFC in June 2010 for failing his pre-fight medical exam prior to UFC on Versus 4.

He was supposed to headline the event, taking on the upstart Rick Story; however, "The Great" had abnormally high testosterone levels in his blood stream after multiple blood tests revealed he was not within acceptable ranges for competition, which forced the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission (PSAC) to bar him from stepping inside the Octagon.

Marquardt blamed the spike on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which he later admitted to using to combat the combined effects of his age and history of professional fighting.

Regardless, UFC President Dana White was "disgusted" and booted him from the Zuffa roster after he threw the 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 Story, but it didn't do anything to preserve Marquardt's employment.

Until now.

Marquardt, 32, has not seen fight action in nearly one full year, earning a unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 128 in his most recent appearance back in March 2011.

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