Sherk stripped of UFC lightweight title
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) reduced UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk's suspension for a positive Nandrolone test to six months last week. However, because the ruling maintained Sherk's guilt, the UFC has decided to strip Sherk of his title, according to UFC.com.
The UFC 80 match up between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will now be for the lightweight title and Sherk will face the winner of that bout, according to the report.
Sherk's suspension ends January 2008.
The UFC's announcement brings closure to a matter that has lingered for five months now and has tied up the lightweight belt during that time. UFC president Dana White appears to have been patient and fair and the decision to strip the title from his friend, Sherk, is the right one. It will be nice to start the new year without the cloud that has hung over the division for the second half of 2007. It will also be nice to have the ownership of the belt once again decided inside the Octagon, rather than inside a boardroom.
From Sherk's perspective, the positive test result is now essentially behind him. After January he will have served his punishment and he too can move on. Given the fact that White continues to maintain that he believes Sherk's side of the story and the fact that he is giving Sherk a title shot so soon, there doesn't appear to be much long-term damage to Sherk's image within the company. The real question is how will fans react to Sherk when he enters the Octagon for his next match? And, will the "Muscle Shark" consider adopting a new nickname?