Most thought Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission executive director Greg Sirb would provide clarity regarding Nate Marquardt’s abrupt exit from “UFC on Versus 4.” Unfortunately for the curious minds that want to know, Sirb didn’t produce much information most of the MMA universe didn’t already have access to.
According to Sirb, Marquardt and the UFC were notified SIX WEEKS AGO that he had not met the necessary medical requirements to compete in tonight’s show. They gave the 32-year-old up until an hour before Saturday’s weigh-ins (3PM ET) to resolve the situation.
Unfortunately for those that were expecting Marquardt to make his welterweight debut against Rick Story, he wasn’t able to provide what the commission requested. The PSAC had no choice but to indefinitely suspend the veteran, while UFC president Dana White has opted to wash his hands complete clean with the former middleweight top contender.
“We gave him every opportunity,” Sirb told MMAJunkie. “We had given him as much leeway as we could, but obviously, when you’ve got a live event you’ve got to make a call at that time. (It’s) pretty straightforward stuff. You’ve got to meet these requirements, and there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. Unfortunately, he did not. I felt for the kid. I really did. He knew about it, and I think he was trying.
“He’s been put on suspension. When he meets those requirements, he’ll be taken off. How long of a suspension (it will be) is up to him.”
Sirb cited Pennsylvania’s strict medical privacy rules as to why he was unable to discuss exactly what Marquardt was missing. According to Mike Chiappetta of MMAFighting, there is nothing in PSAC’s bylaws that prohibits them from disclosing a positive test drug. So it appears performance-enhancing drugs may not have been the issue.
The ball is now in “Nate the Great’s” court to try and make things right. As soon as he can produce whatever it is the commission requested a month-and-a-half ago, he’ll be allowed to compete professionally again. Regardless, his Octagon days are over.
Outside of a generic tweet earlier this morning, Marquardt and his camp have been relatively mum.
“UFC on Versus 4” takes place tonight inside the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The card’s new main event features a heavyweight scrap between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry.
Story now faces Charlie Brenneman in the night’s co-featured contest.