It has been a year of anguish for Sean Sherk. First, he had to face allegations of using a performance enhancing substance in his UFC lightweight title defense against Hermes Franca, which was upheld by the California State Athletic Commission. He went through months of suspension and the stripping of his championship belt.
Then, in his return to competition in May, Sherk suffered a rare TKO defeat at the hands of current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
Still, Sherk keeps his head up and looks forward to his next bout, and an eventual return to title contention.
“I have five fights left (on my contract),” he told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like I have a good, strong future with the UFC still. I feel like I’m a strong part of the organization. Maybe one or two wins will put me back in title contention again.”
Part of his surety of returning to fight for UFC gold is Sherk’s particularity in selecting opponents. He’s not interested in taking on just anyone that happens to show a spark of talent in the lightweight division. He wants to face the toughest competition around, the guys that, if he defeats them, will leave no one doubting that he should be back in the mix, fighting for a UFC championship.
“I’ve been real careful with who I’m going to fight. I want to fight contenders; I want to fight top guys,” Sherk stated to MMMAWeekly.com. “I don’t want to fight up and coming guys… I want to fight the best of the best and that’s what I’m doing with my upcoming fight.”
Though it has yet to be announced by the UFC, sources close to both camps say that Sherk’s next bout has been signed and he will face rising contender Tyson Griffin. The bout is expected to take place in Chicago on Oct. 25 at UFC 90.
The winner will surely be propelled within a fight or two of an eventual title shot, although the lightweight division is currently in flux as champion B.J. Penn lobbies for a move up in weight to rematch UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, while retaining the crown at 155 pounds.
Check out MMAWeekly.com’s In The Cage interview with Sean Sherk where he talks about his plans to return to title contention, his thoughts on the B.J. Penn bout, his thoughts on possible legal action against the state of California, and more.
Sean Sherk Video Interview