LAS VEGAS – Speaking with the media before UFC 155 in Las Vegas, Nate Marquardt expressed his gratitude for fighting once again as well as his plans to contend for the UFC title in the immediate future.
Fans will remember that in 2011 Marquardt was pulled from the UFC on Versus 4 card for his failure to obtain medical clearance due to his testosterone levels not falling within regulated guidelines.
Marquardt now says, "Everything is resolved," and admitted that it was "one of the toughest things in my career."
Marquardt made his return after the suspension in July of this year as he took on Tyron Woodley for the Strikeforce welterweight championship. It was an impressive fight for Marquardt and created some buzz around his career once again.
"When I won the Strikeforce title, that was redemption for me," Marquartd said. As far as where he is in the UFC title picture, he doesn't feel he's far down the ladder, saying, "I know I'm right in the mix, if not at the top."
Before the thought of a UFC title becomes reality for Marquardt, he needs to get by Tarec Saffiedine. The two will fight in the final Strikeforce card on Jan. 12. "He's very tough, I haven't seen him get finished," Marquardt stated, "I just feel I'm a better athlete."
Marquardt is now 35 years old and has 44 professional fights under his belt (32-10-2). Should he make a serious run at the UFC title, the time may be now.
When asked about his potential return to the UFC, "The Great" didn't hesitate, "I assume I'll be in the UFC after this fight [with Saffiedine]."
*All quotes obtained first hand by Bleacher Report MMA
Joe Chacon is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.