Nate Marquardt has been in this game for a long time. We’re talking about a fighting career that spans 18 years and far before his days in the UFC. While he’s never won a belts in the UFC, he’s no stranger to titles and has a storied journey that moves beyond just gold and leather. At 38-years old and on a three-fight losing streak, Marquardt had decided to walk away from the sport. He will continue to train and participate in MMA, looking to use his knowledge of the sport to add to his ministry.
His fighting life dates all the way back to 1999. Nate Marquardt has fought in three different weight classes during his career, winning multiple titles including the Strikeforce welterweight title and is a three-time Pancrase middleweight champion. Despite ups and downs, Rousimar Palhares, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley have all suffered losses to Nate ‘The Great’. He’ll be using some of his free time to pursue a degree at Gateway Seminary, to find new uses for his unique experience. His entire statement is provided below.
“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 we are confident that God is directing our paths!” — Nate Marquardt via his official website.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/28/2017.