According to Marquardt's manager Lex McMahon, the UK-based BAMMA has agreed to release Marquardt from his contract following the organization's decision to delay their ninth event from Feb. 11 to March 24. Marquardt was scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the main event of BAMMA 9 for the organization's welterweight title.
This marks the second time BAMMA has delayed Marquardt's promotional debut, as he was originally scheduled to fight for BAMMA in December.
"Nate is disappointed that he has not been able to fight for BAMMA and the UK fans," McMahon said. "However, given the situation that BAMMA removed him as the headliner from BAMMA 8 and have elected to reschedule BAMMA 9 to March 24, 2012 all parties concerned feel that it is in Nate's best interest to explore other options at this stage. Nate is one of the best fighters in the world and looks forward to fighting the best competition possible. Both Nate and I wish BAMMA all the best in their future endeavors."
The 32-year-old Marquardt signed with BAMMA in July, following his release from the UFC in June. Marquardt was released from the UFC one day before his main event fight against Rick Story after the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission ruled that his testosterone levels were above the approved limit. After a brief suspension by the commission, Marquardt was cleared to fight anywhere in the world, and he chose the upstart BAMMA organization.
Unfortunately, Marquardt (31-10-2) never had the opportunity to fight for the promotion due to reasons beyond his control.
"The decision to move the BAMMA 9 event to March 24, 2012, was taken in the interests of the BAMMA promotion as a whole and we believe that this will result in the strongest BAMMA event to date," BAMMA CEO David Green said in a statement provided to MMAFighting.com by McMahon. "It is important to note that the decision to remove Nate from the BAMMA 8 card and to reschedule BAMMA 9 in no way is a result of any actions taken by him. Nate was originally to feature on the BAMMA 8 card in December and with this current date change it is only fair for us at this stage to honor Nate's contract agreement and allow him to look for fights outside of the BAMMA promotion.
"I cannot speak highly enough of the professional manner in which Nate Marquardt and his team have conducted themselves. They have been an absolute pleasure to work with and we are just disappointed that we have not been able to work out a way to seeing Nate take his place on the BAMMA 9 card."
So once BAMMA informed McMahon that they would be delaying Marquardt's promotional debut for a second time, McMahon asked for Marquardt to be released from his contract, which BAMMA obliged.
As a result of his release from the organization, Marquardt is now free to fight for any other promotion as soon as possible, and while McMahon declined to comment where and when we'll see the former UFC middleweight contender fight next, he said, "Nate's exploring his options and we're excited about the future."