USA Today doesn’t even have a picture of Sean Sherk, so here is a picture of some ring girls.
Ending almost 3 years of white-knuckle suspense among… no one, former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk announced his retirement this week. Persistent injury struggles and the progressive improvement of other lightweight fighters left Sherk in a situation where another chance to go out on a positive note, which he did against Evan Dunham in 2010, would not come easily. Thus, he decided to put himself out to pasture in real estate investment land and let virgins feed him grapes.
There was really nothing distinctive or especially memorable about Sherk’s actual fighting, so Sherk’s real legacy in my mind is the ambivalence he made me feel about steroid cheating in sports. On the one hand, his musculature looked unnatural, and it seemed unfair that he had a different physique than some of his opponents. On the other hand, how could he have ever competed naturally on such a small frame in an age when the UFC’s lightest weight class was 170 pounds (after the lightweight division went on its mid-2000s hiatus)? Further, when he was stripped of his title for doping, his opponent had done the exact same thing. I think the Association of Boxing Commissions should pass a new regulation stating that if both fighters take steroids, there is no change in the decision. The two cheaters already had their jailhouse brawl… just let the winner stand! They could call it “The Anti-Clown Rule” in honor of Hermes Franca, the child molester with purple hair who took steroids right along with Sherk before their title fight.
It is kind of sad when a former UFC champion retires and pretty much no one gives a crap, but maybe if he wanted it to be really sad, Sherk could make us miss him by going on some alcohol-fueled rants like Don Frye or screwing over small-time promoters like Ken Shamrock. Then he would stay relevant enough so that we would have no choice but to care.