Former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC alum, Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt is set for a return to professional mixed martial arts for the first time since November 2017 — as he features at a Titan FC event on August 7. 

Marquardt, 42, called time on his professional mixed martial arts career back in December of 2017 following his third consecutive loss, ending an 18-year professional run.

The Wyoming native, who holds a 35-19 professional record, ended his career with a trio of decision losses to Sam Alvey, former UFC light heavyweight champion and heavyweight tournament winner, Vitor Belfort, and most recently, a split judging loss to Cezar Ferreira at UFC Fight Night Norfolk. 

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During the broadcast of Titan FC 70 last night in Miami, Florida — Marquardt was invited into the cage in between fights, where he announced his return to professional mixed martial arts — citing religion as the catalyst for his return to the sport. At the time of publication, an opponent for Marquardt’s return has yet to be disclosed.

It’s 100% God,” Marquardt said. “Honestly, I’ve been sent here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and he’s the only way to be saved and our nation is in desperate need right now to turn back to the Lord. I believe that’s the message God has for me and I’m really excited to fight again.

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Marquardt, a former UFC middleweight title challenger, spent a period of 12-years under the promotion’s banner from 2005 till December of 2017, where he challenged for gold once during the lengthy reign of former titleholder, Anderson Silva

With 11 knockouts to go with an eye-catching 16 other submission victories, Marquardt is also a former Pancrase middleweight gold holder, taking a unanimous decision win over Shonie Carter in September of 2000 to lift the title.

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Across his career, Marquardt has lodged notable victories over the likes of Ivan Salaverry, Dean Lister, Jeremy Horn, Martin Kampmann, Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares, Dan Miller, and C.B Dollaway. 

Back in July of 2012, Marquardt met with former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight throne — where he stopped the St. Louis native with a highlight-reel series of elbows at the fence in the fourth round. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.