What do Georges St Pierre, Matt Hughes, and BJ Penn all have in common? Sure, they’re all future hall of famers … but they were also the only guys to beat Sean Sherk before last Saturday. Now you can add another name to that list: Frankie Edgar.
To say everyone is generally surprised is an understatement. Dana White thought it would be impossible for Edgar to win. Bookies had him at +300, and only 2 out of 8 Bloody Elbow writers (not even the smart ones either!) tapped him for the win. But in hindsight, should we really be surprised? The Sean Sherk of today is a very different fighter from the one that used his shoot / pass / stall skills to snag the UFC lightweight belt.
The new Sherk is a wannabe striker, not terrible by any means but bad enough that you don’t have to look too hard to find lengthy essays on what he’s doing wrong. Why he has decided to replace his creamy wrestling butter with hydrogenated margarine striking is beyond me. Zak from Watch Kalib Run speculates that it has to do with Sherk chasing fight bonuses, but I have a hard time imagining one of Dana’s best buds is hard up for cash, even after burning a giant pile the most expensive / useless steroid lawyer in the sports universe.
There’s two other possibilities that I can think of as well. First, in his attempt to become a well rounded fighter, Sherk may have fallen in love with the sweet science and is now one dimensional in a whole new way. Which is unfortunate because if he just mixed his damn martial arts, who knows what he could accomplish? Or perhaps Sherk is sick of being called a boring fighter, so he’s reinvented himself in a way he thinks will be more popular? While perhaps the most illogical reason, it’s the one that sounds about right to me.
Whatever the case, I kinda miss Lay and Pray Sherk in a strange sort of way. He was as much a fixture in the UFC for me as the Zuffa borg cube and gladiator. And maybe it’s just the fact that I’m off my anti-psychosis medication, but have you ever wondered if the real Sean Sherk has been kidnapped by the CIA and replaced by this imposter? I have a way to tell which involves a hammer and an ice cream scoop. But we’ll discuss that more when we’re not being monitored by the others.