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[MMA] Sean Sherk Stripped of Title


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Without much fanfare, the Ultimate Fighting Championship stripped Sean Sherk of the lightweight championship. Company officials confirmed this information on Saturday before its event in Las Vegas.

Sherk, 34, had tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone, more commonly known as Decadurabolin, in his July 7 title defense in Sacramento, Calif. where he defeated Hermes Franca. Franca also tested positive for steroids during the fight. Sherk won via five round decision. The California State Athletic Commission, unlike Nevada, doesn?t have the legal authority to overturn a decision based on a positive drug test.

Sherk had appealed the test result, and on Tuesday the commission cut his one-year suspension to six months, but upheld the $2,500 fine. Sherk is eligible to fight again on Jan. 3.

Because the appeal verdict was that his test result was not overturned, it left UFC officials with little alternative, other than set a dangerous precedent had they not decided to strip Sherk of the championship, for a company that has stated a public hard line on steroid use among its competitors.

UFC president Dana White had already booked B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson for the interim championship on Jan. 19 in Newcastle, England. Had Sherk been cleared, he would have faced the winner at the earliest possible date. Now the Penn-Stevenson winner would be the outright champion.

It has not been confirmed whether Sherk would still get the first shot at the winner.

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That certainly sucks.

We went from hearing nothing to just BOOM, his titles gone.

Hopefully whoever wins makes a good champion.

I wouldnt mind seeing Clay Guida further up the ladder, but thanks to the fluke that took place on the ultimate fighter finale, I dont see that happening anytime soon.

Clay Guida or Marcus Davis would do for fighting the winner of Penn vs. Stevenson.

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Well, frankly put, if he did take the steroids, he should be suspended, if not released. The UFC has a hard enough time already being viewed as a "perfectly legitimate" sport, only for 1 of the champions to take drugs! Personally I think this is just as much a sackable offence as Babalu not letting go of the choke in his last UFC fight.

I would like to see Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian fight to decide who gets the number 1 contender status to meet the winner of Penn/Stevenson.

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Sean Sherk may have lost his UFC lightweight title, but he won?t have to wait too long to get a shot at getting it back.

According to a story from Thomas Gerbasi posted today at UFC.com, Sherk (32-2-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will face with winner of the fight between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson which headlines UFC 80 on Jan. 19 in Newcastle, England.

According to White, from the UFC.com article:

?I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he?s been honest throughout this whole process,? said UFC President Dana White. ?But BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.?

Sherk was stripped of his belt as a result of the California State Athletic Commission failing to overturn his suspension due to a positive test for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone, more commonly known as Decadurabolin. Sherk tested positive for the steroid after his July 7 title defense in Sacramento, Calif. where he defeated Hermes Franca.

On Tuesday December 4th, the commission cut his one-year suspension to six months, but upheld the $2,500 fine and the positive test result. Sherk is now eligible to fight again on Jan. 3rd 2008.

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