Former King of Pancrase, Strikeforce Champion, and UFC title challenger, Nate Marquardt, has retired.
With a career that spans … many … years, Nate was clearly closer to the end than the beginning of late and for his long term health, this was the smart move.
I think it’s fair to say he was one of the earlier “modern” fighters in that he didn’t excel in any one area of the sport; he had KO wins over the likes of Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley and submission victories over such luminaries as Jeremy Horn and, uh, James Te-Huna. Of late, he was on a three fight losing streak, last dropping a split decision to Cezar Ferreira. In the last two years, he was 2-5.
Going forward, he will become a man of the clothe as he’s going to missionary school. Oh, no, I’m not joking and you know it.
Here’s his full statement, courtesy of his very own website:
Farewell to UFC
“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!
Best of luck to Nate, despite the drug failures, he always seemed like a decent enough dude.