UFC vet Marquardt planning to return to MMA in 2020
Brandon Magnus / UFC / Getty

A former Strikeforce champion and UFC title challenger is planning to come back to the sport.

Nate Marquardt confirmed to MMA Junkie's Danny Segura on Tuesday that he intends to end his retirement and fight in the first half of 2020. Marquardt's teammate and UFC middleweight Ian Heinisch told theScore last week Marquardt was contemplating a return.

"I've known it for a while now, but I haven't made it public," Marquardt told Segura. "I've just been training, going to seminary, staying in shape, and helping guys like Ian and stuff like that."

Marquardt, 40, retired at the end of 2017 after three straight losses in order to focus on missionary work. He said he knew just a few months after retiring he would eventually return to MMA.

"I had a dream," Marquardt said. "God spoke to me, and he confirmed it later in the week by two people I've never met before and one friend, as well, that basically I'd be fighting again."

Marquardt said he didn't train for the first two months of his retirement but returned to the gym after he "started feeling really bad physically." He's been training on a consistent basis since then.

No longer under contract with the UFC, he has yet to make any "serious inquiries" with a promotion.

"I think I'm just gonna go with whatever gives the best offer," Marquardt said. "That's my plan for now, anyway."

The native of Lander, Wyoming, signed on for a second UFC stint in 2013 after the company bought out Strikeforce that year. Marquardt, who holds a win over former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, recorded a 13-12 record in the Octagon. He lost to Anderson Silva in a middleweight title bout in 2007.

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UFC vet Marquardt planning to return to MMA in 2020
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