Wyoming’s Toughest Athlete: Ultimate Fighting Legend Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt
When Nate Marquardt was born in Lander, Wyoming, the sport of 'mixed martial arts' didn't exist yet.
Now 37, the former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and three-time Pancrase Middleweight Champion is widely considered among the greatest ultimate fighters of all time.
Marquardt's professional career began in 1999, and quickly took off when he won the "Bas Rutten Invitational" tournament in Japan. After a successful run with the Tokyo-based Pancrase promotion, Nate "The Great" returned to the United States in 2005, headlining UFC's nationally televised Ultimate Fight Night.
In 2007, Marquardt challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title at UFC 73, losing by TKO. He continued to compete in UFC for several more years, before being released in 2011.
At the time, many of the so-called experts believed Marquardt's career was finally over. Fortunately, they underestimated the toughness and tenacity of the Wyoming warrior, who began studying Ju-Jitsu, karate and kickboxing as a teenager.
In 2013, Marquardt resurfaced with Strikeforce, winning the Middleweight title in his first fight with the promotion. Eventually, he made his way back to UFC, where he recently competed at UFC on Fox 23 in January of 2017.
Overall, Marquardt has posted a 35-17-2 record during his nearly 20-year professional career.
Not bad for a kid from Lander, Wyoming.