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UFC’s chaotic week in Pittsburgh shows how volatile the company’s business can be

By Zach Arnold | June 27, 2011

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Cable tv $70 a month, 60 inch plasma screen tv $2000, seeing ... on Twitpic

Miguel Torres screen captured what would be the image of the night. More on this later.

Click on the image to view the NBC/Versus video clip

The chaos for UFC’s Pittsburgh event for Versus television was remarkable in terms of what a roller coaster ride it was psychologically for the organization. Heading into Sunday’s event, there was very little interest in the main card and the Rick Story/Nate Marquardt fight was one where most people were kind of curious, but not enthusiastic.

Then the shit hit the fan and Nate Marquardt got suspended indefinitely by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission. Consequently, he got fired by the UFC and Dana White put a 12-second cell phone clip online confirming the firing. A lot of things came into play to make this wicked brew, including the fact that UFC right now is in negotiations with multiple television outlets to get a new TV deal. Nate Marquardt has never been a big TV ratings draw, but he is still a ‘name’ and anything embarrassing from him was going to amplify the internal pressure that Zuffa is feeling right about now. That became evident during this interview Dana did for the Versus pre-fight television show.

TODD HARRIS: “Inside ConSol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with the President of the UFC, Dana White. Dana, you’ve had a very busy 48 hours. Can you take us through the timeline, maybe in the last 28 hours of what you knew and how it all came about?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, I found out, I actually found out on Thursday and, uh… All I have to say is, honestly, from what I saw here this evening and the way things have been handled so far, the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission is the best commission in the United States. Seriously, the way that these guys handle things and the way things have been done during the fight, before the fight, etc. etc. The thing that’s going on with Nate Marquardt, heh, Pennsylvania laws are unfortunate that the commission can’t come out and announce medical records or medical situations with fighters but I think it’s pretty clear to the fans and everybody else that I’m pretty disgusted with Nate Marquardt. He’s been cut from the UFC He won’t fight in the UFC ever again. So… you got to follow these guidelines with the health and blah blah blah blah blah blah. Bottom line is, what Nate Marquardt did is bad enough to be cut from the UFC.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Dana, are you able to shed any light as to what he did?”

“He didn’t pass his medicals, you know what I mean? It’s the way it has to be said here because of the laws and the health and this and all this stuff, you guys know me, you know how I operate. Before anything was said, he’s cut, he’s done with the UFC, I’m disgusted with him and he has no business fighting in the UFC.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “Now, Dana, I know you and Nate have had kind of a rocky relationship in the past, maybe not as decorated as you and Tito’s beef but nonetheless…”

DANA WHITE: “Not really! Not really. You know, Nate Marquardt, I would say the exact opposite. Nate Marquardt’s done some things and I’m one of these guys that gives everybody a second chance. We all make mistakes.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “Well, I was looking at this as the straw that broke the camel’s back based on his past.”

DANA WHITE: “No, listen, we all make mistakes, people make mistakes, we’re human beings, it’s going to happen. You know, it’s how you handle it and Nate Marquardt’s a nice guy, I mean he’s a nice guy, he’s a sweetheart, he always says the right thing and is a nice guy but, you know… being nice and acting nice and doing the right thing are two different things.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Dana, this is obviously a sport and things have happened in the past, not only in MMA but in every sport. Why did you feel the need to fire him? Why did you think this was bad enough that he should be fired?”

DANA WHITE: “Well, this is one of those situations where because of the laws in the state of Pennsylvania, Nate Marquardt’s going to have to man up and tell the world why he didn’t pass his medicals. He’s going to have to man up and come out and tell the world why he didn’t pass and when he does that I think everybody will understand why he was cut from the UFC.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “Now, if he does do that, wouldn’t you give him another chance? I know you’ve said in the past before about fighters never fighting again and you’ve let them fight, can he redeem himself in this situation?”

DANA WHITE: “I don’t know. You guys see, you know, when Nate Marquardt decides to come out and talk to everybody, you know, if he does or if he doesn’t, whatever happens. I know there’s all these things out there about me where I can be too, whatever, if you really look at how I’ve treated people and treated fighters over the last 10 years, I give a lot of guys chance and I know that everybody makes mistakes and Nate Marquardt has been one of those guys. So for me to come out and say he’s not going to fight in the UFC any more, it’s got to be pretty serious. It’s not because ‘oh, Nate and I had some problems’ or, you know… Otherwise, if that was the way I felt about Nate Marquardt, would he be headlining a show on Versus? Would he be in the position that he’s in the, you know, Welterweight or Middleweight division? No. I’ve had a good working relationship with Nate Marquardt.”

With interest so high in regards to what the mysterious circumstances of Nate’s firing from the UFC, there has been a big vacuum created in the media space. Since Nate’s camp has not handled the situation well at all from a public relations-perspective, it gave Dana White & Greg Sirb (Charles Jay-approved commissioner for Pennsylvania) the chance to take the lead and frame the issue the way they did.

Unfortunately, the vacuum also has created a scenario that I try to avoid at all costs in regards to media coverage. As an MMA writer, you can’t publicly say, “Well, I know what the real story is but I can’t tell it to you.” The defense for such a stance is based on legalities, which is entirely plausible. With that said, you got to make the effort to not come across to readers as if you know something they don’t and look as if you’re taunting readers & that somehow because of your ‘disciplined’ silence that you are remarkable or special. You’re not.

In regards to when Nate Marquardt’s camp will speak, the initial rumor is that the matter will be publicly addressed on Tuesday. As far as why it hasn’t been addressed earlier on, perhaps Nate’s camp got legal advice to shut up until the situation and timing is right. You never know with these matters. What works for PR sometimes doesn’t work for legal issues.

Click on the image to view the NBC/Versus video clip

Here’s Greg Sirb commenting on the matter at hand.

TODD HARRIS: “Glad to be joined now by Greg Sirb, he is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission and, sir, you’ve had a very busy 48 hours. Can you take us through the timeline in the last 24 hours and what has transpired with Nate Marquardt?”

GREG SIRB: “We knew there was an issue with Nate. We tried to give Nate as much time as possible to satisfy our medical requirements. It got down the 24th hour, about 3 o’clock on Friday, he didn’t satisfy them. The fight had to be pulled.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “How long, Greg, did you know that there was an issue here?”

GREG SIRB: “We knew for some time. I think everybody was under the assumption that he was going to be able to qualify and then, you know, that may be a mistake on our part and everybody’s part. We shouldn’t assumed it. We tried as the commission, we had both our medical doctors had ring side at the weigh ins, waiting for the results. We really tried to give him some leeway on that. It just didn’t happen.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “Now, Greg, as of now Nate is suspended, correct?”

GREG SIRB: “Correct, Nate is on indefinite suspension.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “And indefinite, what does that mean? What does he have to do to get reinstated? When would he be eligible to get reinstated? Say, if he could meet the requirements next week, could he be taken off?”

GREG SIRB: “If he can meet the requirements next week, we’ll take him off. It’s up to Nate right now. He has got to show us, the medical issue that’s out there, he’s got to show us that it’s been solved. If my doctors say yes to that report, we’ll take him off suspension.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Greg, what exactly is the medical issue?”

GREG SIRB: “Well, I can’t go into that, unfortunately with the laws of Pennsylvania. It’s an issue that’s held under the privacy act. Nate’s fully aware of it and has known about this for quite some time.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Is that something that pertains to Pennsylvania? Because we know in the past with California, they will announce why a guy’s suspended. Why in Pennsylvania are you not able to announce that?”

GREG SIRB: “Our HIPAA laws are a little bit stringent here in Pennsylvania, that we don’t go into those situations and on a personal level, for the commission, we try not, we don’t want to embarrass any fighter. The fighter knows what he’s doing, he got taken off the card, he lost a lot of money and he’s been, you know, he’s having trouble with it.”

STEPHAN BONNAR: “Now, Greg, when you usually get suspended you get fined as well. Is there going to be a fine that goes along with this suspension?”

GREG SIRB: “You know, that’s a good question and my commission is looking at that and, I’ll be honest with you, we’re not in the business to pile on and Nate’s out quite a sum of money for this fight. At this time, we’ll probably say no.”

I strongly encourage you to watch the video for Sirb’s tone & demeanor when asked about whether or not Marquardt will get fined.

So, with Marquardt pulled off the Versus card, Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry was moved to the main event slot and Rick Story was given Charlie Brenneman on extremely short notice for the semi-main event.

Story was in a no-win situation and, well, it lived up to his nickname of “Horror” all right. Brenneman wrestled him to a unanimous 29-28 decision and derailed what looked to be a meteoric rise to the top of the Welterweight division. On top of that, Brenneman was considered by the fans to be a local guy and they cheered the hell out of him. Where do both men fight now in the minds of Joe Silva & Dana White in regards to their internal rankings? You can’t treat the situation as if the fight didn’t happen and leave Story where he is pegged at in the matchmaking before the fight.

Click on the image to view the NBC/Versus video clip

TINA DIXON: “It was a crazy week for you, Charlie. A lot of back-and-forth on-the-card, off-the-card. Knowing now that you just won this fight, how would you sum up what you’re feeling?”

CHARLIE BRENNEMAN: “Amazing. I’m pretty sure my life has peaked at 30 years old and I’m completely fine with that.”

TINA DIXON: “You still got a lot more years to go!”

CHARLIE BRENNEMAN: “I do, but nothing’s going to top tonight. I almost guarantee it.”

TINA DIXON: “Now, the first two rounds seemed to be yours but that third round, there were a couple of moments where he was taking charge. How did you get out of that?”

CHARLIE BRENNEMAN: “You know, that’s personally my fault. I’m a work-in-progress. I knew those positions, I could hold my position, I knew it was going to eat up time, I knew he was going to get tired doing it. A couple of times I almost waited too long to get some of those locks got tight.”

TINA DIXON: “How much of this was heart, being in your home state?”

CHARLIE BRENNEMAN: “Man, when that song by P. Diddy came on, I knew it was on.”

TINA DIXON: “Congratulations, enjoy this.”

CHARLIE BRENNEMAN: “Thank you very much. You bet your ass I’m going to enjoy it. Thank you.”

You had to feel for Rick Story and how things played out. As for how Dana White felt after the outcome of that fight, I’m sure he threw his hands up in the air.

And then, within the time span of a few minutes, Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry decided to have a fight with the most incredible finish you will ever see in Mixed Martial Arts (thanks in part to some flawed techniques on display.) The fight produced a remarkable finish where Barry decked Kongo with a looping right, then hit Kongo again to the ground, only for Kongo to groggily bounce back up and, with his back against the cage, hit Barry’s guard enough to get a second crack to deliver a pure, nasty uppercut that dropped Barry and had his eyes rolling back while his right leg was bent underneath him on the ground. It was such a spectacular finish that everyone had largely forgotten about Story’s loss.

On the Versus post-fight television show, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson continued his bullying of Ariel Helwani. He also stated that Kongo had taken a long break from MMA because he was recovering from a spinal infection. Stephan Bonnar somehow managed to compare Kongo/Barry to a Muhammad Ali fight.

Click on the image to view the NBC/Versus video clip

David Williams: Matt Mitrione joins an illustrious list after win over Morecraft

Speaking of hyperbole, that was what pretty much everyone was engaged in after Matt Mitrione took care of business with Christian Morecraft. Matt should have realistically finished off Morecraft faster than he did, but he got the job done in the end. His stamina wasn’t too hot, however, and as you can see in this post-fight video, Meathead knows it.

TINA DIXON: “Congratulations, Matt. Let’s talk about that first round. You looked so calm & relaxed. You had him almost twice there. Take us through it.”

MATT MITRIONE: “You know, I saw that when I dropped him he was still pretty awake, wasn’t as out of it as I wanted him to before I’m comfortable enough jumping on him. And the second time I dropped him, I kind of felt like, ‘Ah, I might as well give it a shot,’ because it looked like he was a little bit dazed. You know, honestly, it was just, I’m still green, I should have handled it a little bit better. I should have taken a different angle and come over the top of him, I probably could have finished it. But you know what I mean, I definitely made enough mistakes to keep ’em back in the lab, you know.”

TINA DIXON: “5-0 now in the Octagon here at UFC fights, all televised. What does that say about your fighting?”

MATT MITRIONE: “I think that means people want to see me lose or win, one of the two. I’m flattered, I don’t know how many people can say that all their fights have been televised, I’m fortunate and I appreciate it. I’m really flattered that it’s been that way.”

Stephan Bonnar was proposing Meathead fight someone like Frank Mir or Cheick Kongo. Ariel stepped in and said that there was no need to rush Mitrione in terms of stepping up to better competition until he improves. Bonnar accused Ariel of engaging in boxing-like matchmaking. Todd Harris said that though Mir would beat Mitrione that the fight should happen. Thankfully, the name Dave Herman was mentioned as a possible next opponent.

All in all, a lackluster uneventful card turned out to be a fascinatingly drama-filled show both in and out of the cage. I enjoy the Versus telecasts better than the Spike TV broadcasts because they are live on all coasts and there are cleaner, subtle changes in the production that just make it a better viewing experience. With that said, the demographics that Versus draws for viewers is not helpful in attracting the standard audience that UFC draws on Spike TV, which has much strong demographics willing to support and watch UFC programming. Spike TV did, in fact, counter-program the Versus telecast by airing Nate Marquardt fights. That was charitable, wasn’t it?

As for the image of the night that Miguel Torres captured on television, it was a cage side camera shot of Arianny Celeste, Chandella Powell, and Brittney Palmer right as Cheick Kongo finished off Pat Barry. Arianny had her arms near her face, then started smiling, clapping, and jumping up and down. Chandella & Brittney had priceless reactions on their face, with their arms and hands covering while maintaining a stunned look mixed with shock & incredulousness (I made a new word there). It was awesome.

Also amusing: the camera crew catching Bruce Buffer cracking jokes and socializing while Matt Brown & John Howard were fighting right in front of him.

Oh yeah, this Saturday night, Urijah Faber vs. Dominic Cruz on PPV at UFC 132. Over/under – 350,000 PPV buys?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 41 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

41 Responses to “UFC’s chaotic week in Pittsburgh shows how volatile the company’s business can be”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) MMA is a VERY tough business to be in. Look at how many organizations have gone out of business. The UFC handles the crazy pretty well, although it is unavoidable with how flakey the athletes can be….

    2) I’ve been very impressed with the “UFC on Versus” telecasts this year. A much more sports feel to it. The pre and post shows are a breath of fresh air compared to the way SpikeTV handles it as more “entertainment”. While I’m not sure moving over to Versus is the smartest move from a business standpoint…. As a fan, I much prefer the Versus format.

    3) Nathan Marquardt will only hurt himself if he doesn’t come out and plainly state why he got fired.

    4) The PA Athletic Commission came off as being really good. The guy talking on the pre show was extremely competent. And he also took full charge of the situation during the BS foul by Oliveira.

    5) Story vs. Brenneman is very much like the matchmaking that Strikeforce use to do. Which is, if the underdog wins, it hurts the company more then helps it. They went from a guaranteed title challenger in Story/Marquardt winner to now just having nobody left for GSP again. Which is another reason why Zuffa was probably so mad at Marquardt. He put their matchmaking in a really bad position. And this was AFTER they called on Story on short notice.

    6) Kongo/Barry and Mitrione/Morecraft are great examples of how awesome Heavyweight fighting can be. Typically fans either get those fights or Mir/Nelson type of fights that stink up the building.

    7) In most other sports, they have a short leash on their athletes. Almost too much. But one thing they do right is that they don’t let athletes or coaches bully members of the press without penalty. While I like how the UFC lets fighters use twitter and stuff like that…. They do need to penalize fighters like Quinton Jackson who are just flat out bullying the media.

    And this last week has not looked good on the MMA Media. While the UFC cannot say anything, I believe the media could tell Marquardt’s reason with legal protection. And they are all walking around clueless. And when the athletes are mean to the media…. They media turns on them (like Barry Bonds). The MMA Media has not done one thing to Quinton Jackson….. Shows are weak they are….

  2. The Gaijin says:

    “Unfortunately, the vacuum also has created a scenario that I try to avoid at all costs in regards to media coverage. As an MMA writer, you can’t publicly say, “Well, I know what the real story is but I can’t tell it to you.” The defense for such a stance is based on legalities, which is entirely plausible. With that said, you got to make the effort to not come across to readers as if you know something they don’t and look as if you’re taunting readers & that somehow because of your ‘disciplined’ silence that you are remarkable or special. You’re not.”

    It is so lame and really just amounts to a dick-waving “Look at MY connections!” attempt to impress readers. Not only that, it makes you look like you probably don’t really even have the scoop or a reliable enough source to stand behind it.

    But do you expect much more from most of the “pool party entourage” media?

    • Phil says:

      who has said they have the story but won’t report it?

    • Chromium says:

      Lots and lots and lots of people know what the fucking story is. No one can talk about it publicly whether they got the knowledge first-hand or fifth-hand because HIPAA laws are a real thing. Jesus.

      Also that’s a horrible use of that .gif and it’s been run the fuck into the ground at this point.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Yeah thanks tips, we’re aware of that.

        *Watches the ENTIRE point sail 40-ft over Chromium’s head*

        What this all basically amounts to a bunch of “journos” and mma “media” trying to flex their connections and reach with the 😉 winks and “I know!…But I can’t say.”

        Well why bother other than for some sort of ego boosting and lame attempts at impressing readers? Funny that anyone could claim “they know what the story is” and guess what, they’ll never have to actually prove they have a connection or source because they can hide behind “I can’t say because it’s a legal thing.”

        In fact, I actually just got a DM on Twitter from one of my mma connections about Nate’s announcement tomorrow. Sorry, I can’t tell you what the deal is because I’m barred by privacy law. You’ll have to tune in to his conference…but it’s going to be interesting to say the least!

        • The Gaijin says:

          Also, just to clarify – but the “source” comment in my initial post was directed at the general/recurring theme from mma media, not the Nate story in particular. Go to any site and you’ll see numerous posts/comments/stories where an “mma media” member makes a vague or suggestive comment based on a “source”, but says they can’t really say anything else.

          Well if you can’t say anything, why did you bring it up in the first place? Oh that’s right, to make sure you’ve impressed the masses with your “industry connections”.

        • Phil says:

          Can you point me to one of these people saying that they know but can’t talk?

          All I’ve see in that regards could be Ariel, which would make sense because if he had the statement early Sunday, it would have made sense for him to hold it until he went on the air sunday night. And if he has the story now, again, it makes sense to wait until his radio show.

          The only other thing I saw over the weekend was people saying “it’s not PEDS” which i didn’t take as people being deliberately vague, I took at as people being told from nate’s camp that it wasn’t PEDs.

  3. jack says:

    I think the world you were looking for is “incredulity.”

  4. edub says:

    Dave Herman would also be a very good opponent for Meat Head next, although his “walk in to punches face first” style would be easy picking for Mitrione.

    I still like the Kongo match up the most though.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      They should do an 8-man tournament with:

      Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione, Mike Russow, Ben Rothwell, Jon Madsen, Travis Browne, Dave Herman, & Joey Beltran.

      That would create a contender out of that random group….

    • The Gaijin says:

      (Copied my response from the last thread just to keep in the current convo)

      I also like the idea of a Kongo fight or Hunt, but realistically I doubt they want to (potentially) use up Mitrione’s heat on them, so maybe a fight with Dave Herman (as Ariel suggested iirc) but he’s a bit of a non-entity so same argument as previous. Or if you want to build him up further, the big dummy could probably exploit a guy like Struve’s chin and have another big highlight KO…I’m done with thinking Struve will develop into a Semmy Schilt type figther that utilizes his length.

      • edub says:

        I still think Struve can keep improving. He just has to actually get away from being exciting. He should start training with Wladmir K. On top of that if he can keep packing on muscle his size would win him a bunch of fights by itself.

        You make a good point about Kongo-Mitrione too. Its something I definitely want to see, but Zuffa prolly wouldn’t risk it yet.

  5. The Gaijin says:

    “Oh yeah, this Saturday night, Urijah Faber vs. Dominic Cruz on PPV at UFC 132. Over/under – 350,000 PPV buys?”

    I gotta think it’s a lock for “Under”. There’s been a buttload of events going on and I’m just not sure this one has hit on a lot of non-hardcore people’s radars. Faber really didn’t blow the doors off in his UFC coming out party and I think maybe two people have picked up on the Cruz doesn’t like Faber selling point. Tito Ortiz is no longer a bankable draw and as much as I love Wanderlei (and think him and Leben will be a HL KO – whether its a 8 min war or 42 second blitz) I don’t think he’s a big ppv draw as a “true (co-)headliner” (it’s tough to tell given that he’s been on some big cards 750k – 79, 475k – 84 & 1m – 92, but also had 360k vs. Franklin – 99 , 240k vs. Bisping – 110 on overseas cards).

    Maybe the fact that it’s a holiday weekend on both sides of the border (Canada Day – July 1, Independence Day – July 4) will actually be good for the “buys” esp. because it will be national hangover day in Canada, but so many people travel and are out and about on these weekends rather than sitting beside the TV.

    • david m says:

      Wanderlei is not a draw in America. What he had in PRIDE was special, but in the UFC he is just another guy. I think his fight with Leben will be over within 3 minutes but I have no idea who will win. Leben generally has a stout chin but he looked horrid against Stann. Whether that was due to being sick (I believe I read he was puking before the fight and was sick) or Stann’s talent or Leben’s decline, we don’t know. What we do know is Wanderlei is super aggressive and has no defense or chin. Someone is getting KTFO.

      I think this show draws 300k buys. Cruz and Faber don’t have UFC drawing power at all, and Tito is a joke.

  6. carwin never even addressed his name coming up linked to the steroid scandal.
    Guillard tested positive for cocaine following a UFC fight.
    A. Johnson came in 7 lbs over weight.

    spare me the “i’m disgusted” speech Dana.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Well…we’ll have to wait until we hear the official “reason” for Nate’s “failed” medicals.

      We’ve almost all been assuming, myself included, based on the way that everyone is talking that he messed on getting cleared for TRT but it could be something else entirely – not sure what though since he’s basically said Marquardt would probably never work with them again.

      • edub says:

        Dana is defintiely king of the rhetoric, but I gotta agree with him here. It would be the second time Marquardt failed (or would have failed) in his career, and he has never shied away from his stance that he doesn’t think steroids are harmful (which is actually something I agree with, but that’s a different discussion).

  7. zack says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but how do you get suspended if you weren’t licensed in the first place?

    • Zach Arnold says:

      That is a great question. Unless he had already applied to get licensed in the state in the past, I’m not sure what’s up here. Sirb loves to be a tough guy, so perhaps even if Marquardt isn’t licensed he’ll go through the ABC to enforce the indefinite suspension.

      • Bryan says:

        Say what you will about Greg Sirb, but in the experiences I have had personally with him he has treated me very fairly and been honest with me as well.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    For Nathan Marquardt…. Testosterone Cream is the current word someone is claiming on The UG…

    I have a feeling he is going to commit career suicide today and basically not reveal everything and just really piss off the fans…. Time will tell.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Until he comes out and makes his statement, I have no idea what to believe. I’m keeping an open mind here as best as I can.

      Now, if it is something related to TRT or testosterone cream, it’s going to put UFC in a box. To fire Marquardt over something like but keep Sonnen around would make the company’s image look bad. Yes, Sonnen is a bigger draw than Marquardt, but it’s not as if he comes across publicly as a saint, either.

      An almost impossible situation for UFC to handle, but Marquardt gave UFC the PR lead to define the terms of the discussion and they have. Marquardt is really back in a corner thanks to the way the news cycle has played out. Perhaps his lawyer/lawyers told him to keep quiet until a statement could be prepared today, but on the PR front it has been rather unadvantageous for him.

      My anti-spam word here is ‘juiced.’

      • 45 Huddle says:

        The big differences are that:

        1) This would be Marquardt’s 2nd steroid issue while in the UFC.

        2) He also couldn’t get cleared for a fight because of it.

        That is worse then what Sonnen has done before.

        Either way, this is a young sport / growing pains issue. These issues need to have strict guidelines around them and both the fighters and fans need to know exactly what needs to be done to get fired for these sort of things.

    • The Gaijin says:


      I’d read a while back someone posting whispers (from a “former UFC fighter” particularly) that PED usage at Grudge was absolutely rampant. The rumor was unsubstantiated of course, but looking down their roster I can’t say that it was shocking (then or now).

      I look forward to his carefully scripted and legally vetted press statement. I wonder if Ariel will push him on it or not.

  9. Zach Arnold says:

    By the way, am just curious to get reader reaction from y’all as to what you thought of this article format and if you approve/disapprove of this type of writing for future posts.

  10. Norm says:

    I think the rumor of him using TRT but not having the appropriate documentation is the actual issue. It seems as though he might have notified the PSAC and the UFC of the TRT and they said, ok fine you have until the day of weigh-ins to get us your medical records/doctors explination/approval. And he failed to do so, putting the UFC in a severe bind. Couple that with this being his second issue with PEDs/TRT and that could possibly explain the firing.

    Its pretty evident the UFC has no issue with TRT. so long as the correct steps for approval are taken. Sonnen gets his pass because of the circumstances and the confusion of how it was supposed to be approved. The outside legal troubles were a completely seperate issue.

  11. […] Zach Arnold discusses a conditions combined by a info opening and some probable explanations for Marquardt’s actions: […]

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    Bellator had 185,000 viewers. They lost all forward progress from their last few shows of the season.

    Strikeforce Challenger did 210,000 viewers which is about average for that show. Which continues to show how bad the Challenger Series is at getting a good number of viewers…

    UFC on Versus did 744,000 viewers which is an improvement over their last show.

    And yet the most important piece of news is….

    SpikeTV beat Versus with a replay of Marquardt vs. Palhares wiith 793,000 viewers. It was the most watched MMA show of the weekend….

    I don’t care how much money NBC is paying…. Unless they can guarantee 6 to 8 NBC fight cards for extremely high exposure, it’s a bad deal…. And really a step backwards. Sort of like how boxing went to HBO and Showtime and lost all chances of attracting casual viewers.

  13. Nepal says:

    Based on Dana’s “I’m disgusted” comment and the PSAC saying it wasn’t PEDs. We know it wasn’t weight. What else is there? I was thinking comunicables and he tried to hide them. What if he contracted Hepititis?? Maybe even a staf infection. If it was Hep, that would jive with Dana’s disgusting comment.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Here’s the thing about that “it’s not PEDs” comment, coupled with the “he didn’t refuse a test”, I think it’s throwing people off a bit.

      Here’s why – (a) their take is probably, “it’s not a PED”, because he’s claiming he needs an exemption and haisn’t failed any commission testing and (b) it’s likely he hasn’t refused any tests, he probably just didn’t get his paperwork/evidence re. TRT exemption in to the commission.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    Marquardt admitted to roiding again. He is hiding behind low testosterone levels, but really those are like that because of his prior use.

    2 time offendor and he ruined a main event. Firing was justified.

    He is just a mess really. He is always in some sort of issues…

  15. The Gaijin says:

    HAH…this whole thing is utter bullshit.

    Marquardt claims he suddenly needed HRT due to low-T (despite being one of the most ripped dudes in mma), so he went on HRT and got the exemption for his Dan Miller fight and then inexplicably started upping his HRT doses and they “spiked outside the normal range” before his fight with Story. L-O-fucking-L.

    So basically Nate took 72 hours to carefully craft a smokescreen around the fact that he was abusing his TRT and just didn’t get cycled down in time.

    This whole exemption is a fucking disaster and a joke – they need to do something about it asap – and one of the things should be that they should be required to disclose when a fighter is using TRT…let’s have some transparency.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I agree. It’s time to end TRT as anything valid in MMA competition.

      1) Most of the guys who need it, need it because they are previous users.

      2) If your body can’t produce enough of the right hormones…. Then find a new profession.

      Just like with baseball, eventually this type of issue will go away. But it’s going to take a while….

      • 45 Huddle says:

        But who are we to judge…. He just wants his testicles to keep on working!! LOL!!!!

        This is comedy hour!!

        • The Gaijin says:

          LMFAO!!!!! 🙂

          Says they just had on a Muscle & Fitness mag cover!

          Actual hormone replacement therapy is for old men, testicular cancer survivors, people with some serious hormone issues and former heavy steroid users. I’d like to show all these professional fighters using it for an edge what the people that ACTUALLY need it look like and then come at me with “I just want my body to keep working!” when you’re built like a professional wrestler.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Marquardt claims he would have been within range on Sunday and able to fight, but that he would have failed a urine test because the substance was still in his system. *smfh*

        This is also known as “cycling”! So basically TRT has provided fighters with a legitimate excuse for cycling – too bad Nate’s proven too stupid to figure out how to cycle twice now.

        Oh well – I wonder how high he can get his levels for a fight on an Indian Reservation with Lombard.

    • Zheroen says:

      Just outright ban TRT – if your body doesn’t produce hormones naturally (HMMM, CAN’T IMAGINE WHY THAT WOULD BE???), then tough luck.

      Still fail to see how this is so utterly disgusting and that much worse than Sonnen’s issues in Dana’s eyes. I guess because Marquardt failed the test before the event, meaning that Zuffa couldn’t profit beforehand.


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