Don't call it a comeback.
Leave it to Nate Marquardt to accomplish his dream of winning a championship in mixed martial arts (MMA) before the promotion he wins the title in, Strikeforce, closes up shop just a matter of months later.
That's what's happened, though, and he's just fine with that. Why? Because it means he's coming back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a move that company President Dana White confirmed at the UFC 155 post-fight press conference.
It's an interesting move if only due to the nature of the two sides split back in June of 2011 when Marquardt was removed from the main event of a UFC show just one day before after a mix-up with his being on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). That led to a big controversy that took a while to go away but eventually faded deep into the recesses of MMA fan's minds, leading to "The Great" being welcomed back to Zuffa at Strikeforce.
And now back to the Octagon.
MMA Heat caught up with Nate to ask if there was any lasting animosity or any issue with White or the UFC going forward. His response:
"Well, I mean, once I signed with Strikeforce at that point it was basically in the past because Strikeforce is under the Zuffa banner and so everything that happened in the past stayed there. There's no hard feelings going forward and I'm grateful for the opportunity and I plan on making the most of it."
Before Marquardt gets to come back to the UFC, first he'll have to handle his business headlining Strikeforce's final event on Jan. 12, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, against Tarec Saffiedine.
About that and more, take a look at his full interview with Karyn Bryant: