Photo courtesy of UFC.com
Nate Marquardt is scheduled to appear on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour at 1 p.m. ET to discuss his failed medicals in Pennsylvania that led to his removal from UFC on Versus 4 and Dana White cutting him from the UFC roster. Bloody Elbow will live blog the proceedings.
For additional commentary, follow Mike Fagan on Twitter.
[12:45 p.m.] Bump. We should be underway in about fifteen minutes.
[1:00 p.m.] And here we go.
[1:06 p.m.] Helwani running through the show guest. Nate's here with his manager from Alchemist MMA Lex McMahon. Nate says he wasn't cleared to fight because of a situation he's dealt with since August. Feeling sluggish, horrible. Memory was off. Doctor did tests, which came back for low testosterone.
He went on testosterone therapy. Went to the UFC to discuss it. He went on treatment. Was on treatment until the first of this year. Applied for therapeutic-use exemption for fight against Dan Miller. Commission allowed it, but they wanted Nate to do tests after fight. Go off treatment for 8 weeks and take blood tests. Nate claims he went off treatment, took the three blood tests. Results came back and doctor wrote letter that said Nate had low testosterone and was a candidate for treatment.
Personal doctor recommended he go back on treatment. This is three weeks out from Story fight. Doctor recommended more aggressive treatment given proximity to the fight.
[1:10 p.m.] Doctor said treatment wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't more aggressive. Nate took treatment for two weeks. Took a blood test to make sure he was within normal range, but that test came back high (out of range). Nate started to panic.
McMahon notes that doctor told Nate to stop treatment to get back to normal levels, which he did.
Nate admits he should have requested testing earlier from his doctor. Nate took several tests the week of the fight, which showed his levels falling, but still above acceptable range. Close by weigh-in, but still above. At that point, the Pennsylvania commission told him he wouldn't be able to fight, put on suspension.
Nate took another blood test on the day of the fight, and his levels were within proper range.
McMahon notes that Marquardt didn't do anything that wasn't communicated to the UFC, athletic commissions.
[1:11 p.m.] Nate says he talked to Greg Sirb, executive of PSAC, and his suspension would be lifted given current information.
[1:15 p.m.] Ariel asks if Nate's currently suspended. Nate says Sirb is going to meet with the board this week to review it.
Ariel asks why Nate had lowered testosterone. Nate runs through symptoms: sluggish, no energy, poor memory, etc. Talks about other tests they ran: brain scans, mono test, blood test for other hormones. Nate runs through list of possible reasons: genetic, problem with testicles, pituitary gland problem. But Nate isn't sure why he personally has low testosterone.
[1:17 p.m.] I'm not a doctor, but I need to take responsibility. I'm the one fighting, not my doctor. I'm the one in the main event. I'm the one that messed up. Nate choking up at this point.
[1:20 p.m.] McMahon talking about things they could have done, including requesting more frequent blood tests from the start.
Ariel talks about Dana saying he has good working relationship with Nate, called him a sweetheart.
Ariel asks Nate about Nate's "situation" with Nevada. Nate says in 2005 that he took an over-the-counter supplement, at the time, but he wasn't aware it was a banned substance. Lots of chemistry terms used that I can't keep up with, but he's talking about the supplement he took that caused his positive test. The substance sounds like a prohormone, which isn't a steroid, but works like one.
[1:23 p.m.] Nate talks about his fights in Dallas and Germany which he had to do the same testing. Testing was run by the UFC in Germany.
Ariel asks what's an acceptable range. Nate says it's up for debate by doctors. McMahon says it depends on the jurisdiction. Adds that Nate knew the he needed to be in rage in Pennsylvania, and that he wasn't.
Ariel asks what his level was at on Saturday. Nate says he's open to sharing numbers, but Greg Sirb suggested that he doesn't until his suspension is lifted.
[1:32 p.m.] Ariel asks if he would be cleared to fight today. He says yes, and that he would have been within range on Sunday.
Nate explains that while he would have passed a blood test, he would have failed a urine test because the substance was still in his system. (Pretty sure this is what he said.)
Ariel goes back to New Jersey. Nate said he received a letter around January/February that said the NJSACB received his TUE, that his application seemed incomplete, that his treatment was not USADA approved. Nate explains his doctor was using an "off-label" medication. Ariel makes sure the doctor isn't "from Tijuana" or something. Nate says his levels were within range for the Miller fight. When he went off to meet the NJSACB requirements -- three blood tests and eight weeks off treatment -- he was off for 10-11 weeks before he restarted.
Nate explains he felt even worse after going off treatment. He explains that his mood improved after starting treatment, may have saved his marriage.
Ariel asks about the treatment itself. Nate explains his first treatment he took 2 bills, one three days a week, the other every other day. Those pills regulate the pituitary gland that tells testicles to produce more testosterone. Nate explains that if you're on testosterone for too long, your testicles shut off, you can go sterile.
When he restarted treatment after going off, doctor recommended injections of testosterone.
[1:34 p.m.] Nate laments not taking blood test after first injection. Nate was nervous about taking testosterone injections, wishes he hadn't in retrospect.
Ariel asks about alternatives. Nate said he's talked to different doctors, who have recommended different things. Says he needs to do more research.
Ariel asks about the injections. Nate said he wants to go back to the oral medication if he can. He doesn't know his plan going forward, however.
[1:43 p.m.] McMahon says when New Jersey said doctors forms were incomplete, using treatment not approved by USADA, it should have been an indication for the team. Nate says he won't be using that doctor going forward.
Nate said his treatment had nothing to do with cutting down to welterweight. Nate does say that the weight cut itself might have played a part in elevating his numbers, but it's hard to explain without being able to reference his levels.
Nate says this has been one of the most stressful weeks of his life. Nate, for lack of a better word, describes the situation as "scrambled." Lots of people running around handling their own portion of the process. He still thought there was a chance he could fight.
Nate corroborates that he found out around fifteen minutes before the weigh-ins.
McMahon says they were "incredibly transparent" with the UFC throughout the entire process.
Ariel asks if Dana spoke with Marquardt. Nate says Dana asked him, "How could you let this happen?" Dana did not tell Nate he was released, but Nate understood it was "very bad." Nate found out through McMahon, but he was expecting it.
McMahon says the UFC was "incredibly professional" throughout the process, but he notes that they found out about the release like everyone else -- through Twitter.
[1:53 p.m.] Nate isn't going to compare himself to other guys who failed tests and were brought back. He screwed up, he was in the main event.
McMahon says he's continued to stay in contact with the UFC. Says it's important to understand the chronology of the situation.
Ariel asks Nate if he's going to go back to his doctor and question the treatment. Nate says that he isn't sure it matters at this point.
Nate is hopeful to return to the UFC. Says he plans on staying at 170 lb.
McMahon notes that other promoters blew up his phone with contract offers.
[1:56 p.m.] Marquardt says he leans on his faith in God. Realizes with his wife, daughters, that he's very blessed.
Ariel asks if he has anything else to clarify. Nate says no, but he wants to apologize to the fans. Feels like he let the fans down, let his family down, let his sponsors down. Hopes they can forgive him.
Nate did not watch the fights on Sunday.
Nate says he has faith that it will get better. (Hi Dan Savage!)
Marquardt was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Johnson in the main event on Saturday night's show. A should injury forced Johnson off the card, and the UFC called on welterweight up-and-comer Rick Story, fresh off a victory over Thiago Alves at UFC 130, as a replacement.
On Saturday, prior to the weigh-ins, UFC President Dana White announced that Marquardt had been cut from the UFC. Charlie Brenneman, who had been told to stay on weight after his original opponent had pulled off the card, stepped in as a replacement to fight Story. Brenneman took a unanimous decision over Story.
Marquardt has been silent on this issue outside of a terse statement his camp released during the Versus prefight show:
Nate Marquardt was not medically cleared by the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission at UFC on Versus 4. Nate was looking forward to making his welterweight debut and is disappointed by this unfortunate turn of events. Nate wants to apologize to his family, friends, fans and the UFC. This outcome was certainly not what he wanted. At this time, Nate wants to be with those closest to him so he can evaluate his situation over the coming days.