After 56 professional mixed martial arts bouts, Nate Marquardt is calling it a career.
The former Strikeforce champion and King of Pancrase announced his retirement on his website on Thursday. Marquardt last appeared at UFC Fight Night 120, where he suffered his third consecutive defeat inside the Octagon at the hands of Cezar Ferreira. Marquardt is 38 years old.
“I have had many accomplishments and victories as well as many trials and upsets in my career,” Marquardt wrote. “I have won [four] 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 [six] 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.”
Marquardt had fallen on hard times in recent years, winning just three of his 12 fights since 2013. However, the Colorado native enjoyed a long and successful career that began in 1999 and included wins over the likes of Yves Edwards, Shonie Carter, Kazuo Misaki, Martin Kampmann, Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares and Tyron Woodley, to name a few.
He challenged for the middleweight crown at UFC 73, losing to champion Anderson Silva via TKO at 4:50 of the opening round. “The Great” would capture Strikeforce gold with a fourth-round stoppage of Woodley in July 2012 but lost the belt to Tarec Saffiedine at the promotion’s final event in January 2013.
“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,” Marquardt wrote. 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.”
Marquardt plans on staying involved in MMA in a different capacity going forward.
“I will continue training in all aspects of MMA and I will also continue to run my sports ministry, Resurrection Jiu-Jitsu,” he wrote. “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.”