In a bizarre development, Cageside Seats has learned that Nate Marquardt has been released by the UFC. The announcement comes via video from UFC President Dana White. Here's the clip:
As of this morning, the plan was for Marquardt to make his welterweight debut against Rick Story in tomorrow night's 'Live on Versus' event.
It was announced earlier this afternoon that Marquardt was decalred medically ineligible to perform, and that his previous opponent, Rick Story, would now be fighting Charlie Brenneman. For those that have not heard that report as of yet, the Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo fight is now the headliner.
Mere minutes ago, Dana White released the video where he bluntly announced that Marquardt is not only out of the main event, he is also out of a job.
No explanation has been given yet as to the reasoning for Marquardt's release.
EDIT: There were rumors swirling around earlier that the decision to cut Marquardt may have had something to do with his weight leading up to today's weigh-ins. Apparently, there is no truth to those rumors.
According to E. Casey Leydon of All Elbows, Marquardt was in perfect health and the weight was no issue at all. Leydon had been with Marquardt most of today leading up to the announcement by Dana White. Leydon even posted a video of Marquardt's open workout where he appears to be fine and in great physical shape. You can watch the video HERE.
Dann Stupp of MMA Junkie confirmed that Spike TV still plans on running a marathon of Nate Marquardt fights tomorrow, which will lead up to and overlap the UFC's fight card on Versus.