The former champion cited a need to focus on his sports ministry work as one of the main factors for stepping away from competition.
“I just believe it’s time,” Marquardt said on The MMA Hour. “That’s (retirement) something that I’ve been contemplating for a while. Ever since I became Christian in 2013, I wanted to do missions and I started seminary this last fall. I’ve completed one semester of seminary and it’s just kind of the timing of everything: the way my last couple of fights went and also I just had nose surgery, so that kind of played into it a little bit. I kind of figured it was a good time and I could focus on seminary and on my sports ministry that I have.”
Marquardt did challenge for the UFC Middleweight Title during his first run with the UFC, losing to then champion Anderson Silva at UFC 73.
Outside of his upcoming missionary work, a now retired Marquardt mentions growing health concerns as another factor in exiting the sport.
“So yeah, and the fact that I was told to get a CAT scan on my head after the fight because they saw I had a little swelling. So my nose has been broken multiple times in the past years, so I knew it was broken but it wasn’t anything big for me. They told me I had to see the ENT and the doctor was like telling me that it was really important to get my nose fixed. So all those things, just the culmination of them made me realize that it was time,” says Marquardt.
UFC Fight Night Norkfolk was the final time Marquardt would compete before retiring and he suffered a split decision loss to Cezar Ferreira on that night.