Former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt is done with professional fighting.
The 56-fight veteran announced on his website Thursday that he is hanging up the gloves after 18 years of MMA competition. Marquardt, 38, made a name for himself as a top-ranked fighter during his time with the UFC, Strikeforce, and Japan’s Pancrase promotion.
In 25 Octagon appearances, Marquardt went 13-12 with notable wins over Jeremy Horn, Demian Maia, and Rousimar Palhares, among others. He failed to unseat middleweight king Anderson Silva in what would be his lone UFC title bout back in July 2007, but he would capture Strikeforce gold at welterweight five years later with a fourth-round knockout of current UFC champion Tyron Woodley.
Marquardt’s last run in the UFC saw him win just three times in 11 appearances, including three straight decision losses to close out his career.
Read Marquardt’s full statement below, in which he states that MMA will still play a huge part in his life going forward:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Since I became a Christian, this has been one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Jesus said we must become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. The humility that a child has is shown in their dependency on and trust in their parents. I have had many accomplishments and victories as well as many trials and upsets in my career. I have won 4 world titles and I have subsequently lost three of them. I have had many winning and losing streaks. I have battled chronic injuries and had 6 surgeries. I have learned that I can trust God in every situation and need to put him first. After 22 years as an athlete in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, I believe God is calling me in another direction.
I want to thank everyone that has supported me throughout my career, including the UFC, Strikeforce and Pancrase. I have many fans that have stuck by me in the ups and the downs and I want you to know that I really appreciate it. I have been blessed to work with so many of the best coaches and training partners in the world and I have much gratitude for every moment of it. I cherish all the relationships that have been formed through this that sport we love. I am exceedingly grateful for those closest to me: my coaches, teammates, friends, wife and family. Above all, I thank God for his provision, protection, patience and guidance through my career.
I am also happy to say that I will still be involved in MMA on many levels. I will continue training in all aspects of MMA and I will also continue to run my sports ministry, Resurrection Jiu-Jitsu. I am currently pursuing a degree at Gateway Seminary, and I plan on using my experience in MMA and the UFC on the mission field. At this point, my family and I are praying for direction for where God is leading us globally and by what means. Wherever and however we go, I believe God will use MMA in some capacity, either teaching at a gym, coaching fighters, running a sports ministry, and/or teaching seminars. Either way, we are excited for this next season in our life as a family and are confident that God is directing our paths!