Nate Marquardt Talks UFC Return, Says "No Hard Feelings" About Getting Cut

McKinley Noble@KenTheGreat1Correspondent IJanuary 1, 2013

July 14, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Tyron Woodley (white shorts) fights against Nate Marquardt (black shorts) at MMA Strikeforce at the Rose Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Even though former UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt suffered some huge public backlash at the expense of Dana White, he says it's water under the bridge.

During an interview with Karyn Bryant of MMA Heat behind the scenes at UFC 155, Marquardt spoke at length about his rocky history with Zuffa and how he feels now that he's on the verge of returning to his previous Octagon stomping grounds:

Once I signed with Strikeforce, at that point, it was basically in the past because Strikeforce is under the Zuffa banner and so everything that happened in the past stayed there. There's no hard feelings going forward and I'm grateful for the opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.

Although White has confirmed that several Strikeforce fighters would be rescued from the dying promotion, Marquardt has had a short stint with the San Jose-based company.

Marquardt also seems to have become a new person after dropping a weight class, re-evaluating his health and temporarily floundering:

It was a tough time for sure. First, we signed with BAMMA and had some trouble there with the fight [that] kept getting postponed. And then we had the opportunity to get out of the contract to come over to Strikeforce, so we took it.

In particular, Marquardt also stated that he hasn't lost any strength or power at welterweight, noting a massive speed advantage in the exchange. Marquardt was last slated to compete in the main event of UFC on Versus 4 against Rick Story, but was handed his walking papers after failing to pass the required physical test due to elevated testosterone levels.

Before Marquardt transfers back to the UFC, he'll headline Strikeforce's final event on January 12, 2013 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Originally titled "Strikeforce: Champions" with a main card full of title fights, the headlining bout for the newly-named Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine event is now the only championship bout of the night. Previously, the original schedule was set to feature a mega-event with Strikeforce champions Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold, before both pulled out due to training injuries.