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Sean Sherk Planning a 2012 Return; Thinks He Can Beat Frankie Edgar the Second Time Around

(Sherk’s hoping to get off the sidelines next year)

Sean Sherk has been noticeably absent from competition the past year since his UFC 119 split decision win over Evan Dunham, but it hasn’t been by choice.

The 38-year-old former UFC lightweight champ, who has only fought twice since 2009, has had a rocky road the past three years with injuries forcing him out of fights with Gleison Tibau, Josh Neer and Jim Miller.

MMAHQ caught up with Sherk (36-4-1) during a recent seminar tour in the UK and “The Muscle Shark” said that he is planning on getting back in the Octagon next year and that he would like to take one final run at the lightweight strap before hanging up his four ounce gloves for good.

“It’s a goal definitely and I’ve still got the skills and abilities to get back there up at the top. I’ve got to get back in there and get back to action as soon as I can. I know that next year will be very important to my career and to how I’m remembered in the sport and I’m ready to get back in there and start making a big difference in that division,” Sherk says. “I need to get in the Octagon once or twice in the next year, get some wins and work my way back up to the lightweight title.”

Standing in his way, besides the current crop of contenders will be the current champ, Frankie Edgar — the last man to beat Sherk at UFC 98 in 2009. This time around, though, he says he feels like he has “the answer” to beating Edgar.

“I’ve progressed a huge amount since then but so has he so there’s definitely another great, exciting fight in there. As a fighter you have to be confident about your skills but also objective and I honestly think that I’ve got the tools to beat Edgar but that’s my opinion,” he explains. “The last fight was great though and I know that, whatever happened, the fans would get an exciting fight.”

Whether or not he’s paying his respects or setting the stage for an eventual fight if Bendo beats Edgar when the two meet in Japan, Sherk points to Ben Henderson as being one of the divisions top young prospects and says that UFC’s 155-pound class is one of the most stacked in the industry.

“The UFC lightweight division is the toughest in the world to be honest with you and it keeps getting tougher. The UFC bought over those WEC guys and I mean Ben Henderson’s looking like a total stud at the moment,” Sherk points out. “He’s just beaten two of the toughest guys in the division. He came out of nowhere and nobody expected that so he’s a perfect illustration of just how tough this division is and it gets tougher day by day.”

Cagepotato Comments

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XENOPHON- December 1, 2011 at 9:55 am
So Sherk is similar to juiced version of Florian.
mmaandrew34- December 1, 2011 at 9:11 am
no way go home.
RwilsonR- December 1, 2011 at 7:38 am
I don't really disagree with a lot of the criticism everyone is giving Sherk. Still, I do feel bad for him. I think he could have gone down as a force in this sport as the dominant LW champ with a legacy similar to Matt Hughes if the UFC had a LW division during those years. I think he would have beaten BJ then, too, since Sherk wasn't intent to stand with everyone back then. Instead, he spent years as the number 2, then number 3 Welterweight behind Hughes and then GSP, when he was only 4'7", and clearly needed to drop a weight class.
Also, he is the one person I believe got truly railroaded with the steroid bullshit. If the CSAC's contracted lab had the two fighters' samples they put into the machine test positive for the same steroid as Sherk just before testing his, then all his samples, including the fucking water blank, tested positive as well, but in small and decreasing amounts, that sounds like a pretty clear case of carryover to me. Poor guy got fucked by the CSAC, and his career went downhill from there.
I think he still has some skills, but he no longer has that granite chin he used to. I just don't see Sherk making much of a comeback. Too bad.
Dagnut- December 1, 2011 at 6:09 am
Pretty optimistic assessment of his chances against edgar..consider no one has out wrestled edgar..and his stand up is a mile off he doesn't have a prayer
Iskander Neptu- December 1, 2011 at 5:16 am
Sherk is past it. He has no chance of making a splash in the new and improved lightweight class. His striking is pitiful, he's only fought once since UFC 100 and he lost, or should've lost to Dunham.
The wrestling is still there and could win him a few decisions against hand-picked lesser lights. But that's all. No need to give him any freebies on my account.
Plus he looks weird: big melon head on a stumpy body full of muscles but with little to no punching power. Freak!
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Xanderschultz- November 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Yeah 4 losses! I had no idea. And they are to 3 hall of famers (Hughes, Penn, St. Pierre) and the current lightweight champ. As this sport continues to evolve quickly, some fighters' great wins get marginalized because the people they beat fail to hover at the top of the sport. That and roids might damage his legacy
TheCanadian- November 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm
"Sean Sherk is planning a new round of steroid cycling" was all I got from this.
Morningwood- November 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm
he needs to get back to his wrestling roots. But, as Greg Nelson has said. Shawn has boxing"idus" and wants to box so he can knock people out to impress the fans. Now I'm not saying he should Fitch people, but to get a win streak going he may want to employ some wrestling and some ground and pound.
mcdolph- November 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm
if he's learned how to throw a straight punch instead of those stumpy little hooks then he may have a chance against my granny
FightZen- November 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Crazy to think Sherk's only lost 4 fights. I don't actually see him in that light. Hall of Famer? I'd be surprised...
XENOPHON- November 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm
He is right, Bendo is the new man on the corner. I'd like to see him back in the mix for another run - although he looks smaller these days. He ought to take the chance to see if he can eclipse the 3 strikes rule - and pack your bags.
Get Off Me- November 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm
If the two judges that gave him the fight vs Dunham are judging...he's got the Pudzianowski chance to win.
Fried Taco- November 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm
Hey, I've got an idea for a nickname for him: Sean "The Shrek" Sherk! How about it? (birds chirping)