From Georges St. Pierre to BJ Penn to Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk has fought nothing but champions and top contenders during his current run in the UFC. But after his loss to Frank Edgar at UFC 98, the Muscle Shark may no longer be a top contender himself. And so, it’s time to rebuild. In an interview with wicombatsports.com, Sherk revealed that he’ll be returning to the Octagon at UFC 108 (January 2, Las Vegas) against Rafaello "Tractor" Oliveira, the 9-2 BJ Penn training partner who lost his UFC debut to Nik Lentz at UFC 103. Coincidentally, Lentz is a training partner of Sherk at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. "He’s been able to give me some good advice on him," Sherk said.
For the former UFC lightweight champion, this is one of those matchups where you just have to swallow your pride and get the job done. Yes, Oliveira is "below" him; he’s 0-1 in the UFC, and has never beaten anybody with a name. On the other hand, Sherk looked completely ineffective in his last match — the fearsome wrestler has become a middling kickboxer — and he hasn’t finished a fight inside the Octagon since 2002. "Tractor" is obviously being set up to lose here. If Sherk wants to make a comeback, he’ll have to hold up his end of the deal, and do so in impressive fashion.