Nate Marquardt is calling it a career. Although he failed to win gold in the UFC, he still had a great career and was considered well-respected middleweight fighters in the game today.
The former Strikeforce middleweight champion announced his retirement from professional mixed martial arts competition on Thursday.
Marquardt began his career in 1999 and mainly fought under Pancrase in Japan, before signing with the UFC in 2005.
Once he was released in 2011, he fought under the Strikeforce banner and won the vacant welterweight title by knocking out current UFC champion Tyron Woodley.
Fast forward to 2013, he went back to the UFC and had a 3-8 run. His last win came against Tamdan McCrory in October 2016, which earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
However, he dropped his next three fights against Sam Alvey, Vitor Belfort, and Cezar Ferreira.
Marquardt released a lengthy statement through his official website:
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“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Since I became a Christian, this has been one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Jesus said we must become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. The humility that a child has is shown in their dependency on and trust in their parents.
I have had many accomplishments and victories as well as many trials and upsets in my career. I have won 4 world titles, and I have subsequently lost three of them. I have had many winning and losing streaks. I have battled chronic injuries and had 6 surgeries. I have learned that I can trust God in every situation and need to put him first. After 22 years as an athlete in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, I believe God is calling me in another direction.
I want to thank everyone that has supported me throughout my career, including the UFC, Strikeforce, and Pancrase. I have many fans that have stuck by me in the ups and the downs, and I want you to know that I really appreciate it. I have been blessed to work with so many of the best coaches and training partners in the world, and I have much gratitude for every moment of it.
I cherish all the relationships that have been formed through this that sport we love. I am exceedingly grateful for those closest to me: my coaches, teammates, friends, wife, and family. Above all, I thank God for his provision, protection, patience, and guidance through my career.
I am also happy to say that I will still be involved in MMA on many levels. I will continue training in all aspects of MMA, and I will also continue to run my sports ministry, Resurrection Jiu-Jitsu. I am currently pursuing a degree at Gateway Seminary, and I plan on using my experience in MMA and the UFC on the mission field.
At this point, my family and I are praying for direction for where God is leading us globally and by what means. Wherever and however we go, I believe God will use MMA in some capacity, either teaching at a gym, coaching fighters, running a sports ministry, and/or teaching seminars. Either way, we are excited for this next season in our life as a family, and we are confident that God is directing our paths!”