Nickname The Great
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg/13.2 st)
Born April 20, 1979
Fighting out of Denver, Colorado
Town of birth Lander, Wyoming
Team/Association Jackson's Submission Fighting
Fighting style Gaidojutsu
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 4
By submission 14
Nathan Joel Marquardt (born April 20, 1979 in Lander, Wyoming) is an American mixed martial artist. He is a seven-time middleweight King of Pancrase Champion, and currently fights at middleweight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Marquardt began his training in the martial arts as a teenager, studying the disciplines of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and Kenpo under instructor Alistair McNiven. Additionally, he took lessons in wrestling, and eventually began training under Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Ricardo Murgel at age 18. Active in sports throughout high school, he contends that he did not become involved in the martial arts until he saw footage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Although he is perhaps best known for his association with Greg Jackson's Gaidojutsu mixed martial arts team, Marquardt has also trained with Sanae Kikuta and the GRABAKA Dojo in Japan as well as American kickboxer and mixed martial artist Duane "Bang" Ludwig in Colorado.
Marquardt began his professional mixed martial arts career in 1999, amassing victories in various promotions before entering the Bas Rutten Invitational 4 tournament, which was organized in such a manner that the tournament winner was to be offered a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Despite winning the tournament, Marquardt was offered no such contract. Instead, he signed with Japan's Pancrase organization, which had fostered such fighters as Ken Shamrock and Bas Rutten. In his first Pancrase fight, Marquardt lost via submission to Genki Sudo.
Invited back to Pancrase for a middleweight elimination tournament, Marquardt defeated Daiju Takase, Kiuma Kunioku, and Shonie Carter to become the first middleweight King of Pancrase. Marquardt defended this title twice before being defeated by Kunioku in December 2001. A final encounter between the two fighters in December 2002 saw Marquardt defeat Kunioku once again to recapture the King of Pancrase championship, which he held for nearly a year.
On May 1, 2005, Marquardt defeated Izuru Takeuchi, winning the Pancrase middleweight championship for a seventh time – the only fighter to ever accomplish such a feat. It was then announced that Marquardt would be making his debut with the UFC in August, live on Spike TV, headlining the inaugural Ultimate Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although his debut ended in success – Marquardt earned a decision victory over UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry – post-fight drug testing controversy led to Marquardt's suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Marquardt tested positive for high levels of nandrolone, which led the commission to file for his suspension. Marquardt maintains that he only used over-the-counter supplements in preparation for his fight – a claim which seems to have been affirmed by a follow-up drug test that found Marquardt to be free of illegal substances. Regardless, Marquardt's suspension was lifted in January 2006.
With the drug testing controversy resolved, Marquardt was set to make his return to the UFC at UFC 58, fighting a mixed martial arts veteran in Joe Doerksen. The fight proved to be a successful endeavor for Marquardt, as he won a unanimous decision over Doerksen. In the post-fight interview, Marquardt stated his goals of capturing the UFC middleweight championship, and his intention to fight then-champion Rich Franklin.
Marquardt then fought Crafton Wallace – a replacement for Marquardt's original opponent, Thales Leites – on the undercard of Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter on October 10, 2006, winning by rear naked choke in the second round. Due to his commitment to the UFC, Marquardt relinquished his title as the middleweight King of Pancrase that same month.
At UFC Fight Night 8, Marquardt notched a dominant three-round decision victory over ADCC champion grappler Dean Lister that saw two judges score the bout 30-25 for Marquardt. Following that victory, Marquardt was scheduled to compete for the UFC middleweight championship held by Anderson Silva on July 7, 2007 at UFC 73. Marquardt lost the championship bout by technical knockout due to strikes.
After early speculation that Marquardt's contract with the UFC could expire without renewal, he confirmed that a new agreement had been signed with the organization. Marquardt's next match was to be against Thales Leites at UFC 81, but Leites withdrew from the bout due to an injured hand. This marked the second time that a bout between Leites and Marquardt had been canceled. On January 9, the UFC announced that veteran Jeremy Horn would replace Leites. Marquardt defeated Horn via guillotine choke.
Marquardt fought Thales Leites at UFC 85–a fight that had been postponed on two separate occasions since 2006. Marquardt controlled Leites for the second and third round of the fight but landed an illegal knee strike to the head of Leites in the second round and an alleged elbow to the back of the head in the third. The deducted points proved to be crucial in the judging as Leites was deemed victorious in a controversial split decision.
- Marquardt has a wife named Tessa and a 7 year old daughter.
- 1999 World Vale Tudo Federation Champion
- 1999 I.M.A. Rumble In The Rockies Champion
- 1999 Bas Rutten Invitational 4 Lightweight Champion
- 2000 Ring of Fire Middleweight Champion
- 2002 Pancrase Spirit Tour Champion
- Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Murgel
- 2nd Degree Black Belt in Pancrase Mixed Martial Arts/Jiu-Jitsu