“Some of the fighters that think they’re so cool and tough by kicking a guy when he’s down – as far as my career, this has been one of the worst times of my life, and these guys are calling me a cheater and talking crap – I’ve taken note as to who those guys are, and I’m going to come for them. Eventually, I’ll get them. I don’t care if it’s in a superfight or if they want to come down to my gym. I’ll beat them up for free… I think you know who these guys are – Ben Askren, B.J. Penn, Paul Daley, Hector Lombard, cowards talking crap about a guy when he’s in such a situation. They’re trying to take advantage of the situation. They’re bullies. Those are the guys I want to beat up… The truth is going to come out over time. It has already started to come back. I was under suspension for literally less than three weeks, and my suspension was lifted. I didn’t get any fines. This hasn’t happened before in this sport, and it shows that I wasn’t cheating. I have hope. There are crap-talkers like B.J. Penn who want to kick a guy when he’s down, and I would love to fight that guy.”

— Nate Marquardt telling MMA Junkie he wants to beat up all the people that called him a cheater during his recent TRT-related suspension

Nate Marquardt is usually one of the quietest, nicest guys in the sport, so it was a little surprising to see such aggressive comments from him. And it was especially surprising to see him to get into with long-time anti-steroid spokesman BJ Penn on Twitter and roll out a line you’d expect from Chael Sonnen. Check this out:

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It’s kind of a bummer Nate is out of the UFC now, because that would have been a great fight.

By the way, it’s still unclear where Nate will end up, but it doesn’t look like it will be in Bellator where their welterweight and middleweight sharks Ben Askren and Hector Lombard have been circling, anxiously waiting for Marquardt to jump in the water. After expressing interest in Marquardt earlier this week in an interview with our own Jim Genia, Bellator bossman Bjorn Rebney told MMA Junkie today that Marquardt “just isn’t a good fit” for his organization.

“The reality is that it’s not often that a top-10 guy is available … especially when he’s coming off a win,” Rebney said. “Nate’s situation was pretty unique. It’s an anomaly for a guy like that to become available, so we had discussions. But it just became pretty clear it wasn’t the right fit.”

“We have so much going on right now … and we’re pretty far down the process,” he said. “If Nate had been available a few months back, maybe things would be different.”

That leaves DREAM, presumably ProElite and a bunch of smaller organizations. It’s still unclear if Strikeforce is a possibility, but I really hope so because that’s the only other place we’re going see Nate fight decent welterweight and middleweight competition with recognizable names outside the UFC.

Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog