Having lost his opponent to the co-main event Jake ‘The Juggernaut’ Ellenberger (28-6) will now welcome back returning veteran, and former Strikeforce champ, Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt (32-11-2) to the Octagon next month.
News of the matchup comes via the Canadian Press who reported the new matchup late Monday night.
Ellenberger had been scheduled to face Johny Hendricks but the injury to MacDonald allowed ‘Bigg Rigg’ to jump into the co-main event versus Carlos Condit, leaving ‘The Juggernaut’ without an opponent temporarily.
UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz is expected to take place on March 16, 2013 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
Marquardt was in action last month at the final Strikeforce event in his first welterweight title defense. ‘The Great’ would go five rounds with Tarec Saffiedine losing by unanimous decision as the ‘Sponge’ used leg kicks to win his way to Strikeforce gold. The loss ended a two fight win streak for Marquardt who earned victories against Tyron Woodley and Dan Miller.
The bout with Miller at UFC 128 was Marquardt’s last Octagon appearance. He had been scheduled to appear at UFC on Versus 4 versus Rick Story but did not pass the required physical and was released from the UFC for failing “medical requirements.”
Ellenberger is 7-1 in his last eight matches and is coming off a decision victory over Jay Hieron last fall at UFC on FX 5. The win erased a loss in his last fight to Martin Kampmann at the TUF 15 Finale when ‘The Hitman’ finished Ellenberger by second round TKO. That defeat ended a six fight win streak which included victories against Diego Sanchez, Jake Shields, Sean Pierson, Carlos Eduardo Rocha, John Howard and Mike Pyle.