Ever since Nate Marquardt was released from the UFC for submarining the UFC 132 main event only one day prior to the show for testing too high with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), he has been under constant attack by fans, media and many fellow fighters who have all taken a major exception to Marquardt’s use of the controversial substance.
I guess he can thank Chael Sonnen for that one.
And for the record, the problem wasn’t that Marquardt was using replacement therapy—the problem was that his testosterone levels were well above the normal range. But I suppose that could be considered as “replacement,” if his testosterone levels were always (and let’s not forget “magically”) too high throughout most of his career to begin with.
In other words, the impression that the fans and many of the other fighters are getting these days is that many of these pro athletes are now using “replacement therapy” as an excuse to make up for the fact that they were most likely abusing steroids for much of their athletic careers (either amateur or professional) in the first place.
What? No sympathy?
According to the “Fight Doc,” Dr. Johnny Benjamin, he believes that the use of TRT should not be permitted under the current methods of testing:
“I believe that TRT should not be allowed in elite-level competition. It is too easy to cheat and very difficult and time consuming to monitor the proper treatment process.
“The bottom line is that TRT was developed and intended for the medically necessary treatment of a small subset of young boys who need this hormone to develop normally and have a shot at a more normal life—and not, amazingly, healthy young men who want a shot at the title.”
Hmmm...so then why would an elite-level athlete such as Nate Marquardt (or Chael Sonnen or Todd Duffee for that matter) need to use TRT in the first place? After all, they’re still young guys and they do “appear” to have quite a bit of muscle packed onto their incredibly fit frames.
“Some common reasons for significantly low testosterone levels in an otherwise healthy young man are pituitary-gland issues, primary gonadal issues and/or side effects of anabolic steroid use. As an FYI, pituitary dysfunction was ruled out in Sonnen's case. So, that leaves two likely choices—with one being far more likely than the other.”
So anyway, back to Nate “the Great” for a moment...
Although he has been under quite a bit of heavy fire lately, there’s really only been one other professional fighter that has been challenging him (and laying insults to him) to a point that it’s now apparently affecting Marquardt on both a mental, as well as, an emotional level. And he’s not even in the UFC.
Meet Hector Lombard...
And in case you’re unfamiliar with who he is, Lombard is currently the most revered Middleweight Champion in the entire Industry, aside from UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson “the Spider” Silva, who many, myself included, think that Lombard could easily defeat.
[This is my opinion. If you don’t like it...I have others.]
Lombard was born and raised in Cuba and began grappling in judo by the age 10. Fast forward 23 years later, and Lombard is now a three-time College National Judoka Champion, and was a gold medal winner at the Cuban National Championships. In 2000, Lombard then had the honour of representing Cuba at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
So then why should anybody be surprised that this guy is possibly the best in the world in the sport of MMA? Why is he being underestimated by so many people?
Lombard (29-2-1-1), who currently holds the Middleweight championship belts for both Bellator and the Cage Fighting Championships (Australia) is well-known in the MMA world as a relentless, high-powered wrecking machine, who seeks and destroys his opponents in the most punishing of ways (fastest recorded knockout was against Brazilian Jay Silva at the 0:06 second mark of the first round of their fight).
Yet despite going undefeated in his last 23 fights, Lombard is still often criticized by fans and media for fighting in a “lesser” promotion (the idea of course that all of the best talent lies within the UFC, something that the UFC constantly reinforces as part of their aggressive, brainwashing marketing strategy).
If only there were a way that Lombard could prove them all wrong.....hmmmm...
Enter Nate Marquardt.
After being released by the UFC, Marquardt was immediately called out by Lombard who is known more traditionally as a quiet, keep-to-himself type of fighter, who much prefers to do most of his talking inside of the cage. But here was an opportunity that Lombard just couldn’t pass up—the opportunity to silence his critics once and for all by defeating a man that many other “experts” consider to be a top contender amongst the UFC Middleweight elite.
Look at it this way—if Marquardt could defeat Lombard, then perhaps it would only just prove what many fans already believed, which was that Lombard wasn’t as good as his supporters claimed him to be. But if Lombard could defeat Marquardt, and do so in his usual convincing fashion, then that would instantly launch Lombard (and Bellator) into the centre media stage for the first time ever in his fighting career.
That would be a big step forward for Bellator and an even bigger step forward for Hector Lombard, as he would love nothing more than to be able to prove his critics wrong.
But I have to wonder...what would be in it for Marquardt? Seems like he’d be the one with the most to lose, right?
Well, not really.
“When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude. Learn to uncover something in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.”—The 48 Laws of Power (Law #13)
So let’s brainstorm here for a second...what are some possible benefits to Marquardt for accepting this fight against Lombard?
One—F#%$ the UFC. Dana White couldn’t wait to drop Marquardt like a bad habit. And he did so in a way that was both ruthless and humiliating—posting videos of himself on Twitter bashing the professional and moral conduct of Marquardt. I think it’s safe to say that Nate won’t be returning to the UFC any time soon, or according to Dana White—EVER!
Two—Bellator is a great promotion. They are known for treating their fighters fairly and with a great deal of respect. Sure, they’re not as big as the UFC, and as such, Bellator might not be in a position to pay Marquardt the type of money that he’s used to earning, but with a monopoly at hand in this Industry, what other choice does Marquardt really have? Unless of course he’s willing to drop from the North American scene altogether? Doubtful.
Three—Clearly, Marquardt wants revenge against Lombard. And now that he’s said so, he has literally painted himself into a corner where if he doesn’t now agree to fight Lombard, it’ll be Marquardt who is regarded as the coward. Combine that with the “cheater” stigma and that’s not the legacy that any fighter would want for themselves.
"Some of the fighters that think they're so cool and tough by kicking a guy when he's down—as far as my career, this has been one of the worst times of my life, and these guys are calling me a cheater and talking crap – I've taken note as to who those guys are, and I'm going to come for them. Eventually, I'll get them. I don't care if it's in a superfight or if they want to come down to my gym. I'll beat them up for free. I think you know who these guys are – Ben Askren, B.J. Penn, Paul Daley, Hector Lombard, cowards talking crap about a guy when he's in such a situation. They're trying to take advantage of the situation. They're bullies. Those are the guys I want to beat up."—Source
Four—Redemption. He needs it BADLY and he needs it FAST. If Marquardt is truly upset with the fact that everyone is now calling him a “cheater,” then what better opportunity would there be going forward than this one, to prove them all wrong? Short answer—there’s not.
Five—An immediate shot at the Bellator title. Look at it this way—if UFC fighters are indeed that much superior to any other fighters in this world, than Marquardt should have no problem whatsoever in defeating Lombard, and if he does, he will have instantly become the new Bellator Middleweight Champion. Unless he’s planning on retiring from MMA altogether, this is his best opportunity for sure.
Not accepting the challenge by Hector Lombard would be a HUGE career breaking mistake by Nate Marquardt.
Not sure that he can afford another one. Let’s just hope for Marquardt’s sake, that his managers agree.
There are my opinions. If you don’t like them...I have others. Check them out at www.mmehfighter.com