After a turbulent 2011 including an unexpected release from the UFC, flirtations with Bellator, and a rumored bout against Paul Daley, former UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt finally has a date and opponent for his debut at 170 pounds.

According to British promotion BAMMA, who recently signed Marquardt, “Nate the Great” has agreed to face fellow UFC veteran Yoshiyuki Yoshida on February 11 at BAMMA 9 in Birmingham, England. The fight is also scheduled to involve the promotion’s vacant welterweight title meaning the winner will walk away a champion.

Yoshida is coming off back-to-back wins against Ferrid Kheder and Phil Baroni and holds an overall record of 13-6 including ten stoppages. Comparably, Marquardt has more than twice his experience but will have eleven months’ of ring-rust to shake off when they meet up under the BAMMA banner. Among his victories inside the Octagon are successful showings against Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares, Martin Kampmann, and Dan Miller.

Other match-ups announced for the card include Joey Villasenor vs. Jim Wallhead, as well those featuring in-ring appearances from Curt Warburton, Dean Amasinger, and Andre Winner.


MMATraining Take: Clearly BAMMA wants Marquardt to hold their title since he should have no problem taking care of business against Yoshida. He’s younger, faster, stronger, and has more weapons in his arsenal than his Japanese counterpart. However, it’s not a terrible match-up to give him in his debut since Daley might have KO’d Marquardt right away and destroyed any hype BAMMA could have surrounded him with before the two eventually face off.