Bellator turns down Marquardt

July 17, 2011

Earlier this week Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated that middleweight free agent Nate Marquardt “just isn’t a good fit” for Bellator. Marquardt’s rejection is just the latest problem in the career of one of the best middleweights in the world.

Via MMA Junkie:

Rebney confirmed he and Marquardt, as well as the fighter’s representatives, discussed the possibility of a Bellator deal. However, he declined to comment on the specifics of the discussions and wouldn’t reveal the exact stumbling blocks. Admittedly, though, it was worth a shot.

Payout Perspective:

Its interesting that Rebney turned down the deal knowing that Bellator’s Ben Askren and Hector Lombard have called out Marquardt. Speculation is that money was the likely “stumbling block” for Marquardt to come to Bellator. While Rebney did not rule out a superfight with Askren/Lombard, he indicated that despite Marquardt’s pedigree, he’d have to enter the Bellator-style tournament to earn a shot at Lombard.

On another note, its interesting to see the MMA community beat up (via social media) a guy that’s been caught and punished. Even Dana White called him a “nice guy” despite giving Marquardt his walking papers (via social media no less). I don’t recall that many fighters calling out Chael Sonnen with his situations (TRT and legal issues). Could it be that fighters knew that if they called out Sonnen he would return verbal grenades and then some a la Keith Olbermann?

So what should Nate do next?

  • Fight Back…Or “tweet” back.  He’s already engaged in a twitter war with BJ Penn. Another fighter critical of Marquardt. While this strategy is entertaining to read as it unfolds, there’s little value to sending hate tweets to all your critics.
  • Shift Focus. In a way, Ben Askren, Hector Lombard and BJ Penn have helped Nate Marquardt. While each has called out Marquardt, it has given him the opportunity to shift focus.

Also via MMA Junkie:

Some of the fighters that think they’re so cool and tough by kicking a guy when he’s down. As far as my career, this has been one of the worst times of my life, and these guys are calling me a cheater and talking crap. I’ve taken note as to who those guys are, and I’m going to come for them. Eventually, I’ll get them. I don’t care if it’s in a superfight or if they want to come down to my gym. I’ll beat them up for free.

Good fire from Marquardt. The TRT issue is over, he’s no longer suspended and he’s setting his sites on people that have tried to kick him while he’s down. While the quote has a hint of LeBron James, he can refocus the attention on fighting.

  • Sign with a regional promotion and thereby take a paycut. Its easy to tell Marquardt to take a paycut, since we aren’t affected by it financially. But, if there is any chance to return to the UFC. he has to show that he is willing to start from the bottom once again. Even though Bellator turned down Marquardt, there are still some promotions out there that would be willing to give “the Great” a shot. With that being said, Marquardt and his reps would have to pick a promotion where the competition is decent.
  • Lay low for  a while and stay mum. The most passive strategy of them all. But, people will forget about the steroid stigma. The only problem with this is that people will forget about how great a fighter Marquardt was prior to the TRT issue.
The goal for Marquardt is to rehabilitate his image. He will have to determine a strategy to re-enter the world of MMA if he wants to continue with his career. Escaping the stigma is hard and we will see how this plays out for Marquardt.

One Response to “Bellator turns down Marquardt”

  1. BrainSmasher on July 18th, 2011 11:28 AM

    The MMA community should treat Nate different than Chael. There really is no comparison. Chael failed a test for something he may or may not have had a reason for. Nate did the same thing except he was also caught in the past and had an excuse for that too. There is more people to fail the drug test than just Nate and Chael. But very few fail twice and that is what Nate did. Lets also not forget Nate was told to get everything cleared up when he had his last fight. HE did not do it. Thats why the Story fight didnt happen. Nate was irresponsible. Nate screwed up many times over. If it was just a matter of failing a test once like Chael did then there are tons of fighters that have done the same thing. Like Sherk for example.

    Dana White isnt in the business of releasing top ranked guys for no reason. Nate got what he deserved. Nate was headlining a card and in line to get another title shot and some of the fans on forums want people to believe Dana just has a grudge. Nate was in a very good position before he screwed himself. Dana was responsible for that.

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