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Sean Keith Sherk (born August 5, 1973) is an American mixed martial arts fighter currently fighting for the UFC. He currently holds a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record of thirty-three wins, four losses and one draw. Sherk has fought in both the UFC and Pride FC, and is a former UFC Lightweight Champion. He holds notable wins over Kenny Florian, Nick Diaz, Hermes Franca, Manvel Gamburyan, Karo Parisyan, Benji Radach and Tyson Griffin.

Sherk began fighting MMA in June 1999, where he originally fought at the welterweight weight-class. During his time as a welterweight, Sherk suffered two losses; one to Matt Hughes and one to Georges St. Pierre. In 2006, Sherk decided to drop down to the lightweight class of 155 lb. In his first fight as a lightweight, Sherk defeated Kenny Florian to become the first UFC Lightweight Champion in over four years. After his first successful defense with the title, Sherk was stripped of the title after testing positive for steroids, an accusation he unsuccessfully fought against in a series of controversial hearings. Upon his return in May 2008, Sherk failed to win back the title from the champion, B.J. Penn.

Martial arts backgroundEdit

Sean Sherk was born on August 5, 1973 in St. Francis, Minnesota.[1] Sherk began wrestling at age seven.[1] He continued to wrestle for eleven years, and in that time he wrestled over 400 matches.[2] After finding Greg Nelson's Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in 1994,[3] Sherk began to practice boxing, shoot wrestling, and Muay Thai.[1] In 1999, Sherk defeated Roscoe Ostyn by decision in his first MMA fight.[4]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Sherk began his mixed martial arts career in 1999, where he went on an eight-fight win streak before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2001.[4] Sherk fought only two fights before leaving the UFC. He eventually came back and fought Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Championship. He lost the match and went on to sign with Pride Fighting Championships (Pride).[4] In 2005, Sherk re-signed with the UFC and lost to Georges St. Pierre.[5]

UFC (2001–2003)Edit

Sherk made his UFC debut at UFC 30, where he defeated Tiki Ghosn.[4] After going 5-0-1 outside the UFC, he was brought back to fight Jutaro Nakao at UFC 36, a fight which Sherk won via unanimous decision.[4] On September 27, 2002, at UFC 39, Sherk defeated Benji Radach when the fight was stopped due to a cut Radach had received.[4]

Sherk was then chosen to fight Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Championship on April 25, 2003. Sherk lost the fight via unanimous decision after going five five-minute rounds.[4] Sherk won two of the overall five rounds, becoming the first fighter to ever fight a full five round fight with then-champion Matt Hughes.[6]

Pride (2004)Edit

Following his loss to Hughes, Sherk fought three more times in 2003, winning all three bouts.[4] In 2004, he signed with Pride and made his debut with the Japanese-based organization at Pride Bushido 2. Sherk defeated Ryuki Ueyama via unanimous decision, in what was his only outing in the company.[4]

According to Sean Sherk's website, the Japanese fans are the ones responsible for giving him the nickname "The Muscle Shark." While he was popular in Japan, Sherk found it difficult to travel and support his family and found he could make a better living fighting as a main event on local shows. He also cited his lack of health insurance for making this decision.

Return to the UFC and steroid allegations (2005–present)Edit


Sherk was invited back to the UFC in 2005 for a fight with Georges St. Pierre. Sherk lost by TKO,[5] but was given another fight in the UFC at UFC 59, where he defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision.[7] During the post-fight interview, Sherk stated his intention to drop down in weight to the lightweight division.[7] In October 2006, at UFC 64, Sherk defeated Kenny Florian via unanimous decision to win the UFC Lightweight Championship.[8] With this win, Sherk became the first UFC Lightweight Champion since Jens Pulver vacated the title in 2002.[8] Sherk fought the bout with a torn rotator cuff and was forced to rehabilitate afterwards.[9]

In July 2007, Sherk successfully defended his title against Hermes Franca at UFC 73.[10] After the fight, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) announced that Sherk had tested positive for Nandrolone, a banned steroid, in a urine test the day prior to the fight. After testing positive for twelve ng/ml of Nandrolone, Sherk was fined $2,500 and suspended from competing in California for one year.[11] Sherk's suspension was reduced to six months after appealing his allegations on December 4, 2007, making him eligible to fight in early January 2008.[12] Sherk claimed errors were made in lab testing procedures. He claimed that failure of the lab to properly test the vials used in the earlier, positive tests for any remaining steroid content may have resulted in his sample becoming contaminated.[13] However, Quest Diagnostics and the CSAC denied any errors were made.[13] Although this raises many questions on Sherk's innocence.

Following the CSAC's decision to uphold the results of the positive steroid test, the UFC officially stripped Sherk of his Lightweight Championship.[14] At UFC 80, B.J. Penn defeated Joe Stevenson to win the vacant title.[15] After the fight, UFC president Dana White announced that Penn's first title defense would be against Sherk, who was reinstated by UFC in April 2008.[16] Sherk and Penn fought at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008. Sherk lost by TKO after being caught by a flying knee and multiple clean shots to the face. Sherk was unable to continue at the end of the third round.[17]

Sherk fought Tyson Griffin at UFC 90: Silva vs Cote. He defeated Griffin via unanimous decision.

Sherk next fought Frank Edgar at UFC 98 losing via unanimous decision. Sherk again found himself in trouble with an athletic commission post fight, after he ran from the arena before supplying a post fight urinalysis. He was contacted by commission officer Keith Kizer and told to return to the arena immediately or face his license being revoked. Sherk returned within the hour and provided a urinalysis, but was still suspended 45 days for the actions.[18]

Sherk was scheduled to face Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 because of an injury. He was be replaced by Josh Neer.[19]

Sherk was scheduled to face Rafaello Oliveira on January 2, 2010 at UFC 108.[20] However, due to an injury to Tyson Griffin, Sherk was promoted to the main card to fight Jim Miller. [21] Sherk did not compete at UFC 108, pulling out due to injury. Sherk suffered a cut above his right eye requiring several stitches.

Sherk was expected to face Clay Guida on March 21, 2010 at UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones,[22], but Sherk was forced off the card with yet another injury. Guida will now face Shannon Gugerty. It is currently unknown when Sherk will fight again. [23]

Personal lifeEdit

Sherk and his wife have two sons, Kyler and Tegan.[1] Sean was captain of his high school football and color guard team. He currently coaches a team of fighters with coaches Greg Nelson, Nat McIntyre, Andy Grahn, Ryan Murray,Tom Schmitz and Ishmael Bentley at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy.[24] Other fighters include Brock Lesnar, Brock Larson, Nick Thompson, Logan Clark, Jacob Volkmann, Kaitlin Young and Saul Mitchell[25]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

33 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw[4]
Record Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
33–4–1 Loss United States flag Frank Edgar Decision (Unanimous) UFC 98: Evans vs Machida 2009-05-23 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US
33–3–1 Win United States flag Tyson Griffin Decision (Unanimous) UFC 90: Silva vs Cote 2008-10-25 3 5:00 United States flag Rosemont, Illinois, US Won Fight of The Night
32–3–1 Loss United States flag B.J. Penn TKO (strikes) UFC 84: Ill Will 2008-05-24 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US For UFC Lightweight Championship
32–2–1 Win Brazil flag Hermes Franca Decision (Unanimous) UFC 73: Stacked 2007-07-07 5 5:00 United States flag Sacramento, California, US Defended UFC Lightweight Championship
31–2–1 Win United States flag Kenny Florian Decision (Unanimous) UFC 64: Unstoppable 2006-10-14 5 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US Won UFC Lightweight Championship
30–2–1 Win United States flag Nick Diaz Decision (Unanimous) UFC 59: Reality Check 2006-04-15 3 5:00 United States flag Anaheim, California, US
29–2–1 Loss Canada flag Georges St. Pierre TKO (Strikes) UFC 56: Full Force 2005-11-19 2 2:53 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US
29–1–1 Win United States flag Joel Blanton Submission (Rear Naked Choke) BP: Pride and Glory 2005-09-17 1 2:02 United States flag Georgia, US
28–1–1 Win United States flag Lee King Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) Extreme Challenge 60 2004-11-12 1 2:20 United States flag Medina, Minnesota, US
27–1–1 Win United States flag Brodie Farber Submission (Choke) SF 6: Battleground in Reno 2004-09-23 1 0:55 United States flag Reno, Nevada, US
26–1–1 Win United States flag Darin Brudigan Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) Cage Fighting Xtreme 2 2004-09-04 1 1:30 United States flag Brainerd, Minnesota, US
25–1–1 Win United States flag Gerald Strebendt TKO Extreme Challenge 58 2004-06-11 1 3:52 United States flag Medina, Minnesota, US
24–1–1 Win United States flag Eric Heinz Submission (Neck Crank) Pride and Fury 2004-06-03 1 0:58 United States flag Worley, Idaho, US
23–1–1 Win United States flag Jake Short Submission (Rear Naked Choke) ICC: Trials 2 2004-04-30 1 2:51 United States flag Minnesota, US
22–1–1 Win United States flag Kaleo Padilla Submission (Neck Crank) You Think You're Tough 2004-04-17 2 1:17 United States flag Kona, Hawaii, US
21–1–1 Win Japan flag Ryuki Ueyama Decision (Unanimous) Pride: Bushido 2 2004-02-15 2 5:00 Japan flag Yokohama, Japan
20–1–1 Win United States flag Charles Taylor Submission (Keylock) EP: XXXtreme Impact 2003-12-28 2 0:58 Mexico flag Tijuana, Mexico
19–1–1 Win United States flag Mark Long TKO (Strikes) Extreme Combat 2003-12-12 1 0:42 United States flag Fridley, Minnesota, US
18–1–1 Win United States flag John Alexander TKO Extreme Combat 2003-08-02 1 1:57 United States flag Anoka, Minnesota, US
17–1–1 Loss United States flag Matt Hughes Decision (Unanimous) UFC 42: Sudden Impact 2003-04-25 5 5:00 United States flag Miami, Florida, US For UFC Welterweight Championship
17–0–1 Win United States flag John Alexander Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Extreme Combat 2 2002-12-07 1 1:28 United States flag Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
16–0–1 Win United States flag Benji Radach TKO (Cut) UFC 39: The Warriors Return 2002-09-27 1 4:16 United States flag Uncasville, Connecticut, US
15–0–1 Win Japan flag Jutaro Nakao Decision (Unanimous) UFC 36: Worlds Collide 2002-03-22 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US
14–0–1 Win Brazil flag Claudionor Fontinelle Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UCC 6: Redemption 2001-10-19 2 1:04 Canada flag Montreal, Quebec, Canada
13–0–1 Draw Japan flag Kiuma Kunioku Draw Pancrase: 2001 Neo-Blood Tournament, Round 2 2001-07-29 3 5:00 Japan flag Tokyo, Japan
13–0 Win United States flag Curtis Brigham TKO (Towel) UW: St. Paul 2001-07-15 3 1:15 United States flag St. Paul, Minnesota, US
12–0 Win United States flag Jason Purcell TKO UW: Ultimate Fight Minnesota 2001-06-02 1 1:42 United States flag Bloomington, Minnesota, US
11–0 Win United States flag Marty Armendarez TKO (Punches) KOTC 8: Bombs Away 2001-04-29 3 2:07 United States flag Williams, California, US
10–0 Win Armenia flag Manvel Gamburyan Decision Reality Submission Fighting 3 2001-03-30 1 18:00 United States flag Belleville, Illinois, US
9–0 Win United States flag Tiki Ghosn Submission (Shoulder Dislocated) UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk 2001-02-23 2 4:47 United States flag Atlantic City, New Jersey, US UFC debut
8–0 Win Armenia flag Karo Parisyan TKO (Corner Stoppage) Reality Submission Fighting 2 2001-01-05 1 16:20 United States flag Belleville, Illinois, US
7–0 Win United States flag Ken Parham Decision Submission Fighting Championships 2000-11-03 2 5:00 United States flag Collinsville, Illinois, US
6–0 Win Armenia flag Karo Parisyan Decision Reality Submission Fighting 1 2000-10-10 1 18:00 United States flag Belleville, Illinois, US
5–0 Win United States flag Steve Gomm Decision Extreme Challenge 28 1999-10-09 1 10:00 United States flag Ogden, Utah, US
4–0 Win United States flag Scott Bills Decision Extreme Challenge 28 1999-10-09 1 10:00 United States flag Ogden, Utah, US
3–0 Win United States flag Kurtis Jensen TKO (Punches) Extreme Challenge: Trials 1999-10-04 1 1:00 United States flag Mason City, Iowa, US
2–0 Win United States flag Johnnie Holland Submission (Keylock) Ultimate Wrestling 1999-08-13 2 2:10 United States flag Bloomington, Minnesota, US
1–0 Win United States flag Roscoe Ostyn Decision (Unanimous) Dangerzone – Mahnomen 1999-06-19 3 3:00 United States flag Mahnomen, Minnesota, US

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sean Sherk bio. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  2. Peterson, Fredrick (May 14, 2008). Sean Sherk profile. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  3. Sean Sherk fighter profile. Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 MMA record for Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk. Sherdog. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite video
  6. Template:Cite video
  7. 7.0 7.1 Template:Cite video
  8. 8.0 8.1 Template:Cite video
  9. Kevin Randleman at a crossroads. (February 18, 2007). Archived from the original on February 22, 2007. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  10. Template:Cite video
  11. Gross, Jeff (July 19, 2007). UFC Template:Convert/LoffAonDbSoff. Champion, Challenger Positive for Steroids. Sherdog. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  12. UFC Champ, Sean Sherk's Suspension Reduced. MMA Weekly (December 4, 2007). Archived from the original on May 28, 2007. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Zeidler, Ben (December 20, 2007). One-on-one with Sean Sherk. MMA Madness. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  14. Sherk Stripped of UFC Belt. Sherdog (December 9, 2007). Retrieved on January 20, 2008.
  15. Template:Cite video
  16. Wilkins, Matt (January 20, 2008). Dana White Confirms Penn vs. Sherk and More. MMA Weekly. Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved on January 20, 2008.
  17. UFC 84: Ill Will results. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved on August 9, 2008.
  19. Savage, Greg. Neer Replaces Sherk at UFC 104. Retrieved on 2009-09-02.
  20. Template:Cite news
  21. Template:Cite news
  22. Template:Cite news
  23. Template:Cite news
  24. Minnesota Martial Arts Academy Staff.
  25. Minnesota Martial Arts Academy Fighters.

External linksEdit

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