Nate Marquardt steps in to meet Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158 in Montreal
Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt (32-11-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will meet Jake Ellenberger (28-6 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at UFC 158, a source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps
) on Monday evening.
Marquardt fills a spot left vacant by Johny Hendricks, who was tapped to meet onetime UFC title challenger Carlos Condit when Rory MacDonald was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury.
Marquardt vs. Ellenberger still serves on the March 16 event's pay-per-view main card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook.
UFC 158 takes place at Montreal's Bell Centre.
Marquardt hopes to rebound after losing his Strikeforce welterweight belt in the promotion's final event, which took place this past month in Oklahoma City. Tarec Saffiedine battered the onetime UFC middleweight title challenger with leg kicks en route to a unanimous-decision win.
In his previous outing, Marquardt, a former UFC middleweight title challenger, captured the Strikeforce belt with a fourth-round KO of Tyron Woodley, who also volunteered to fight Ellenberger at UFC 158.
Marquardt returns to the octagon two years after failing to receive medical clearance to headline UFC on VERSUS 4 against Rick Story, which prompted the promotion to release him. Later, he revealed that a regimen of testosterone-replacement therapy caused his scratch from the event. He got a second chance with the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce and later returned to the UFC when the promotion was shut down.
Ellenberger returns to the cage following a decision over win Jay Hieron this past October at UFC on FX 5. Although far from flashy, the win nevertheless put him back on the right track after Martin Kampmann knocked him out at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale, which snapped a six-fight win streak that put him on the list of future contenders.
For more on UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.