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White Warming To Nate Marquardt, Still Cold On Anthony Johnson

UFC President Dana White spoke about the possible futures of exiled middleweights Anthony Johnson and Nate Marquardt.

Nate Marquardt
Nate Marquardt

Middleweight standout, and current free agent, Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) could soon find himself back in the good graces of the UFC.

UFC President Dana White confirmed as much when asked on Thursday.

"I don't dislike Nate," White responded to MMA Fighting. "I like Nate very much. We'll see what happens."

Marquardt has yet to professionally compete since defeating Dan Miller last March in his final UFC appearance.

The 32-year-old was then slated to headline UFC on Versus 4 opposite fellow castoff Anthony Johnson, but earned his pink slip on the eve of the event when his undisclosed testosterone replacement therapy resulted in failed medicals, which led to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission nixing the fight.

Following an extended courting period, Marquardt signed with British organization BAMMA, only to ask for a release earlier this month due to the promotion's perpetual delaying of BAMMA 9, and thus, his promotional debut.

However, for all his goodwill towards Marquardt, White appeared far more hesitant to welcome Johnson (10-4) back into the fold.

"He needs to go fight somewhere else, get some wins, come in on weight," White said of he recently exiled fighter. "He needs to prove to me that he can be a professional, show up on weight and do the things he needs to do. If he does, we can talk."

"Rumble" was infamously let go following a historically counterproductive weekend at UFC 142, in which the talented 27-year-old showed up 11 pounds overweight, despite moving up from welterweight to middleweight, and subsequently tapped to a first-round Vitor Belfort submission.

White also expressly shot down any chance of Johnson signing with Strikeforce, Zuffa's secondary promotion.