Fresh off a definitive first-round stoppage against Rousimar
Palhares less than a week ago, Nate
Marquardt has propelled himself into the UFC 122 headliner
against Yushin Okami
on Nov. 13 at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
Marquardt will reportedly replace Vitor Belfort,
according to the first report of the middleweight mix-up from
Mixedmartialarts.com on Tuesday. Sherdog.com independently
confirmed the new matchup, as well.
According to sources, Belfort, a former UFC light heavyweight
champion, has not been removed from the roster due to injury,
leading to speculation that the promotion might be trying to
rekindle a bout between the 33-year-old Brazilian and UFC
middleweight champion Anderson
Silva in either January or February. That title bout was
originally scheduled to take place at UFC 112 last April in Abu
Dhabi, but Belfort withdrew with a shoulder injury that required
On Monday, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that
Sonnen, who was set to rematch Silva for the middleweight
championship in January or February, tested positive for elevated
levels of testosterone in the wake of his gripping fifth-round
defeat to the reigning titleholder on Aug. 7 in Oakland, Calif.
Sonnen faces a maximum one-year suspension and $2,500 fine for the
infraction. The Team Quest fighter will have the opportunity to
contest the suspension at a CSAC hearing on Dec. 2 in Sacramento,
The promotion had announced on Monday that Belfort-Okami would be a
title eliminator bout; it is not known yet if the new fight will
garner the same status.
Marquardt defeated Brazilian Top Team’s Palhares with strikes after
slipping out of the jiu-jitsu black belt’s leglock attempt nearly
three minutes into their bout. Palhares initially protested the
outcome, accusing the 31-year-old of using a greasing agent on his
legs. Marquardt was immediately inspected in the cage and
vindicated of the allegation.