Former UFC Champion Sean Sherk Discusses Summer Return, Rematching Previous Loss, and Alistair Overeem's Failed Test
As a new generation of mixed martial artists continues to assert themselves at the forefront of the sport, the careers of some of the most accomplished fighters in history are nearing the end.
One of these all-time greats is Sean Sherk. Already holding one of the greatest marks in MMA history at 38-4-1, "The Muscle Sherk" is looking forward to a "couple of more" appearances inside the cage and would love to revenge one of his four losses against Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, or Georges St. Pierre.
"I want to fight in a rematch against someone that I got beat by," Sherk told US Combat Sports. "I think that would be fun getting some kind of a rematch against one of the four guys that beat me earlier. I've got four losses over the course of twelve years and those four losses come at the hands of some of the best in the industry. It'd be a great rematch against any one of those guys and I think fans would definitely be down to watch something like that too."
Sherk's last fight was more than 18-months ago at UFC 119 where he defeated Evan Dunham via split decision in one of the most exciting battles of his career. The win was the perfect cure towards letting go of his loss to Edgar back at UFC 98 and getting back in the win column.
Set to turn 39-years-old later this year, Sherk wouldn't be opposed to making his return to the cage and next appearance under the UFC banner around his birthday sometime in the summer.
"Nothing scheduled, you know, I plan on maybe doing something this summer," Sherk said about any upcoming fight announcements. "I've been on a hiatus just cause of injuries. I've been competing since I was seven-years-old and now I'm trying to recooperate and rehab a little bit."
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to evolve, Sherk is reminded of just how well-rounded the new generation of fighters is becoming. He referenced that the new class is beginning to train at a much younger age than that of himself and other future Hall of Famers.
"I didn't start training or competing until I was 26-years-old in mixed martial arts. A lot of these guys now are doing this stuff when they're 16, 17, or 18-years-old and by the time they're in their mid-twenties they've already got 10 years of training under their belt.
"The new generation is more well-rounded than my early generation," continued Sherk. "Back in the day me, and (Frank) Trigg, and Carlos (Newton) were really the only handful of guys truly three-dimensional. Now everybody in the UFC is three-dimensional. There's no such thing as a two-dimensional fighter in the top level anymore. The generation has grown and everybody trains everything and it shows."
Perhaps no better weight class sums up Sherk's claim than his own lightweight division. Fitted with stellar athletes such as Ben Henderson, Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis and others, Sherk truly believes that the 155-pound class is the most stacked division in the world.
"I think the lightweight division is the toughest weight class in the world. If you'd of told me two years ago or even one year ago that Ben Henderson was going to be the lightweight champion of the world I'd of told you that you were crazy...Henderson came up strong, you know. He fought the best of the best right of the gate. He beat Bocek, he beat Miller, he beat Guida, and he beat Frankie; so he definitely deserves to hold that crown.
"As far as up-and-comers the division is stacked with them," continued Sherk. "Diaz is right up there, Miller's still up there at the top of the pack and I think Frankie will end up fighting somebody tough and he'll end up getting a rematch again. The division is just stacked with contenders."
Having spent more than a decade within the UFC, Sherk has seen both the ups-and-downs throughout his career. From his proudest moment as lightweight champion to his tough stretch with steroid accusations that culminated in his loss to Penn, Sherk has been around the block.
With as much knowledge and insight as anyone on the topic, the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy competitor shared his thoughts on what Alistair Overeem should expect after his recent failed drug test.
"It never goes away," Sherk said of the effect of steroid accusation on one's career. "Regardless of what you tell people and in my case regardless of lie detector tests and blood tests it doesn't matter. People don't care man. It's going to haunt him for the rest of his life unfortunately."
With a stellar career already under his belt "The Muscle Shark" remains one of the most proven fighters in the history of cage fighting. Up next is just a few more fights and a few more chances to supplant his legacy as one of the greatest of all-time.
"I'm pretty much coming to the end of my career so there's really no long term goals. I'd love to fight for another world title but I don't know. Right now just step into the cage with the best fighters in the industry and beat them. That's really the only goal I have at this point of time."
Photo courtesy of cagetoday.com