Joe Stevenson may very well be taking on B.J. Penn for the UFC Lightweight Title if current champion Sean Sherk’s October 31st appeal isn’t heard in a positive way according to The Fight Network:
The one-year suspension of champion Sean Sherk for alleged steroid use following his July 7 title defense to Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., has stalled plans to have the Minnesotan wrestler face number-one contender B.J. Penn at Nov. 17’s UFC 78 in Newark, N.J.
And while it appeared that Penn has been patiently awaiting a new opponent for Nov. in the interim, the popular Hawaiian’s camp has confirmed their leader is now preparing for a Dec. 29 match-up at UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev. Sherk faces the California State Athletic Commission on Oct. 31 to appeal his case, but if he cannot shake the suspension and is stripped of his title by Zuffa LLC, Penn (11-4-1) could face UFC 74 standout Joe Stevenson (28-7).
“I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January,” said Stevenson Thursday. “I think there’s a strong possibility I’ll face B.J. Penn.”
So it seems that the UFC has a backup plan already set just in case Sherk’s positive test isn’t overturned. However, what happens if Sherk is permitted to remain champion? It’s obvious that Penn is the number one contender and would take on Sherk. So what about Stevenson? With Guida-Huerta and Fisher-Edgar already unofficially locked up, Kenny Florian may be the only other option for a Stevenson opponent.
Tonight we will be going live at 7 PM EST, covering UFC Fight Night 11 with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC Fight Night 11 Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC Fight Night 11
Exclusive: Swick vs Goulet Off
Spencer Fisher Injured, Kenny Florian Fills In
Bouts Added to UFC Fight Night 11
Martin, Leben to Clash at UFC Fight Night 11
Swick and Goulet Signed for UFC Fight Night 11
Leben Declines Swick Fight; Goulet Now in the Picture
Din Thomas vs Kenny Florian
Chris Leben vs Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs Junior Assuncao
Nate Quarry vs Pete Sell
Jonathan Goulet vs Dustin Hazelett
Thiago Alves vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka
Leonard Garcia vs Cole Miller
Gray Maynard vs Joe Veres
Luke Cummo vs Edilberto de Oliveira
Kevin from Jersey writes:
I would like to know when we are going to find out about the state of the UFC Lightweight Champion Title. If Sherk just so happens to keep his title, Roger Huerta shoule get the next title shot for the lightweight belt. If Sherk’s appeal is denied and the title is revoked, Huerta and Stevenson should battle it out for the belt. Just the opinion of an everyday fight fan.
Well Kevin, it seems that we are going to know a lot more after Sherk’s meeting with the CSAC scheduled on October 31st. That will be when the commission decides whether or not they are going to reverse Sherk’s positive test for steroids. If they do, expect Sherk to keep his title and fight before the year is over. If they decide to stay with their claim that Sherk tested positive, UFC President Dana White has already said that Sherk will be stripped of the title.
I haven’t heard anything about Huerta getting a possible title shot. I think that he needs to go up against some of the better competition in the division before he will be ready to go up against a fighter the caliber of Sherk or Stevenson. I’ve heard that the winner of the Din Thomas-Kenny Florian fight in September may go up against B.J. Penn in November for the title now that Stevenson has a broken nose and is medically suspended for two months.
Basically nothing is set in stone right now and we aren’t going to learn about the state of the UFC Lightweight Title until after Sherk’s date with the CSAC on Halloween.
UFC lightweight contender Spencer “King” Fisher (20-3) has confirmed that a staph infection in his knee has forced him to withdraw from his fight with Din Thomas at UFC Fight Night 11.
Lightweight contender Spencer Fisher confirmed today that a staph infection in his knee has forced him to withdraw from his scheduled main event showdown with the American Top Team’s Din Thomas at UFC Fight Night Sept. 19 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Miletich Fighting Systems standout said his knee had swollen to “the size of a softball.”
According to The Fight Network, Fisher’s teammates Tim Sylvia and Drew McFedries have also been infected and Pat Miletich told them not to return to the gym for at least three weeks.
InsideFighting is reporting that Kenny Florian just returned from Afghanistan and confirmed that he signed to contract to face Thomas in the main event.
“Yeah, I am. I just signed a contract today. We got word that he [Spencer Fisher] may be out with staph. That’s a fight I want. I think Din is one of best fighters in the world. He’s got a great name and has been one of the guys I’ve been looking up to. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best and that’s what Din is” said Florian.
Screens from ESPN’s recap of UFC 73
In order to remain a champion, one has to beat the best the opposition has to offer. Both Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk did just that on Saturday night, winning their fights in convincing fashion. With their respective roads now temporarily cleared, both fighters seem like they may stay on top for quite a while: a trend that we haven’t seen recently, at least in this upset-filled year.
UFC 73 turned out to certainly be ‘Stacked’ with action-packed fights from beginning to end. While the show’s production moved a bit faster than usual because of time constraints, each fight on the card equaled the pace. The majority of those in attendance at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California might not have agreed according to their unusual reactions throughout the night, but the event definitely lived up to the hype.
Anderson Silva successfully defended his UFC Middleweight Title with a first round TKO victory over Nate Marquardt. The fight was back and forth until Silva (19-4) connected with a straight left hand that dropped Marquardt (25-7-2) to the mat. Silva then got on top of Marquardt and rained down unanswered right hands until referee John McCarthy stepped in to halt the bout.
Marquardt stayed down on the mat for a few moments afterwards, obviously shaken up. Silva thanked all of his trainers and coaches during a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He also continued his growing love affair with American fans with praise and thanks as well.
“I love fighting for these fans,” Silva said. “I enjoy fighting in front of these fans fight after fight. They are always gracious.” Silva will now most likely go on to rematch former champion Rich Franklin this fall.
Sean Sherk won yet another five round unanimous decision and was able to keep his UFC Lightweight Title after defeating top contender Hermes Franca. Sherk (32-2-1) was able to control Franca (18-6) throughout the course of the fight, pressing the action and not letting Franca get up from the ground.
Franca landed multiple big knees to the chin of Sherk but was unable to generate any more offense than that. After the fight, Sherk stated that he was very impressed with Franca’s skills on the ground and his defense as well.
“Hermes was great on the ground. Definitely an awesome Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guy.” said Sherk. “He did a good job of keeping his face from getting hit and kept me close the entire fight.”
Tonight we will be going live at 10 PM EST, covering UFC 73: Stacked with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, media coverage, and much more:
UFC 73: Stacked
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Anderson Silva vs. Nathan Marquardt - UFC Middleweight Title
Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca - UFC Lightweight Title
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring
Kenny Florian vs. Alvin Robinson
Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels
Chris Lytle vs. Jason Gilliam
Frankie Edgar vs. Mark Bocek
Jorge Gurgel vs. Diego Saraiva
News and Notes
- Stephane Vigneault has suffered an injury and he will no longer be fighting Jonathan Goulet for the TKO Canadian Welterweight Title. Goulet released a message on MySpace which said “Damn my opponent got injured and the TKO management are looking for an opponent.”
- Frankie Edgar will make his UFC debut February 3rd at UFC 67: All or Nothing against undefeated lightweight prospect Tyson Griffin.
- Kenny Florian vs. Dokonjonosuke Mishima will headline UFC Fight Night 9 on March 13th.
- Tank Abbott will make his return to MMA February 3rd when he fights Ji Hoon Kim in World Best Fighter: USA vs. Asia.
ADCC News: Frankie Edgar Talks About UFC Debut
IFL: IFL Oakland Preview: Part 1
IFL: IFL Oakland Preview: Part 2
MMAWeekly: MMA’s Japanese Bloodlines Run Deep
UFC: Eddie Sanchez - The Chance of a Lifetime
LA Times: Knockout Marketing
Be sure to make your way over to Fight Opinion and tune in to their special Christmas edition of Fight Opinion Radio.
The 3 hour show features interviews with the likes of Kenny Florian, Bas Rutten, Jeff Osbourne, Jake Sheilds and many others. The guests provide interesting stories which make for an excellent show. Props to the folks at Fight Opinion.
What a night! When sitting here and looking back on tonight’s event I am lost for words.
The evenings event was kicked off with a fight between lightweight contender Spencer Fisher and 18-year old Dan Lauzon. Lauzon worked well early on but Fisher overcame his initial assault and returned fire with some good punches and knees. Fisher was eventually able to rock Lauzon and the fight was called at 4:38 of the first round.
Next up was a battle between the big men. The question coming into this fight was would Carmello Marrero be able to take Kongo down. Marrero showed he could do just that as he took Kongo down at will throughout the whole fight and neutralized anything Kongo had to offer. Kongo didn’t do much throughout the first two rounds but he look a little better in the third. In the end though that wasn’t enough and the fight was scored a split decision win for UFC newcomer Carmello Marrero.
After a tribute to UFC legend Ken Shamrock, Jon Fitch and Kuniyoshi Hironaka took to the octagon. Hironaka looked excellent early in the first as he caught Fitch in a triangle which he worked for the majority of the first. Fitch eventually broke free and he ended the first on a high note as he took Hironaka’s back and worked for a submission.
The second and thirds were a lot alike. Fitch came out hard each round and imposed his will on the Japanese fighter working some vicious ground and pound along with some good stand-up. At one point in the second Fitch took a shot to the face which caused he nose to bleed but it had little effect and the outcome was definitive as Fitch was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
To me Fitch showed a lot tonight. He showed he can overcome adversity and that he is touch as hell. Fitch got caught in a submission early but he weathered the storm and from that point on he controlled the fight with vicious ground and pound and striking.
Next up was the co-main event of the evening for the UFC lightweight title. Sean Sherk proved that the lightweight division is the proper place for him.
Sherk came out early and secured a strong takedown and that set the tone for the fight. Sherk worked excellent ground and pound throughout the whole fight and he neutralized anything Florian had to offer except for the little roadblock he ran into in the second round.
While working from the top, Sherk was firing off his shots and Florian threw an elbow from the bottom. The shot landed and opened up a big cut on the forehead of Sean Sherk. The cut had to be checked but the fight was allowed to continue. Blood poured out of the cut but Sherk jumped the hurdle and continued to pound Florian for the remaining three rounds.
Sherk was able to neutralize any offense Florian had to offer by taking him to the canvas time after time. Late in the final round, Sherk picked Florian up and slammed him to the canvas sending one final message to the crowd. In the end Sean Sherk won by unanimous decision and was crowned the new UFC lightweight champion.
Next up was the fight everyone had been waiting for, the battle for the UFC middleweight title between Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva. As the fighters made their ways to the octagon you could sense the difference in attitudes. Silva looked very calm, composed and ready while Franklin on the other hand came out looking pissed and uptight.
Anderson Silva dominated Rich Franklin from start to finish as he utilized a devastating Thai clinch. In one exchange Franklin was able to land a couple of shots but that was the beginning of the end. Silva worked hard knees to the body and head before momentarily releasing his grip. When he grabbed back on he fired off a knee that landed square to the face and broke Franklin’s nose and sent him crumbling to the canvas.
Afterwards Silva was very emotional as he was crowned the new UFC middleweight champion of the world. Franklin was very humble and he assured fans that he’d work his way back up the ranks.
In other action, Clay Guida put on a ground and pound clinch and he went to work on Justin James choked him out late in the second round after working some excellent ground and pound.
Yushin Okami moved one step closer to being middleweight contender as he knocked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ alumnus Kalib Starnes late in the third round.
Kurt Pellegrino set himself straight tonight after losing in his UFC debut as he choked out Junior Assuncao early in the first round.
It’s official folks, UFC 64: Unstoppable will feature a battle between UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and the very talented Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Also on the card will be a lightweight title fight between Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk and Kenny Florian.