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Breaking News: Woodley vs Marquardt - May 19th

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

On May 19th Tyron Woodley's quest for a shot at the Strikeforce Welterweight title will finally come to fruition.

All he needs to do to bring the gold strap back to St. Louis is beat Nate Marquardt. Three years of perseverance will finally pay off when the two 170 pounders step into cage in San Jose, California.

At a perfect 10-0, Tyron has fought all but two of his professional career under the Strikeforce banner. Through his tenure he's had to go through tough fighters like Tarec Saffiedine, Jordan Mein, and Paul Daley. Often, he has found himself waiting as much as six months between fights.

With recent addition to his coaching staff, Luigi Fioravanti, and the rest of American Top Team assisting, Woodley believes he has the tools to prepare himself for Marquardt. While there has been no official announcement, a verbal contract has been reached, and Woodley has already begun preparation for a 25-minute, five-round championship fight.

Woodley plans to train four weeks in St. Louis before moving to a yet undisclosed location for four additional weeks. Camp will end where it started, as he will spend an additional week back home before flying west to battle for the belt.

Marquardt signed with Strikeforce eight months after he was released from the UFC. Marquardt was released this past month from a contract with British MMA promotion BAMMA that he had signed this past July. Marquardt's future was up in the air when he was released from UFC in June after failing to gain medical clearance to fight Rick Story in the headliner of UFC on Versus 4.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event this past June, disallowed Marquardt to fight Rick Story when pre-fight blood tests revealed his testosterone levels to be outside the commission's allowable limits. The commission subsequently suspended the onetime UFC middleweight title challenger, and the UFC fired him soon after.