UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk and his challenger at UFC 73, Hermes Franca have both tested positive for anabolic steroids according to the California State Athletic Commission.
Both Sherk and Franca have been fined $2500 and suspended for one full year. No word yet on whether or not Sherk will stripped of his title by the UFC.
They will have 30 days to send an appeal to the CSAC after which a hearing on the matter will take place if they choose to do so.
Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy believes that the positive test is a complete mistake:
“I’m fairly convinced that there’s absolutely been a total mistake here,” said Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer. “I have absolutely no recollection of anything of that nature. I know his training and how dedicated he is to eating and doing everything as pure and clean as possible.”
Hermes Franca released a statement earlier today to MMA Weekly stating that a report would be released later today that he tested positive for a banned substance that he willingly took the steroids in order to help heal an injured ankle before the fight.
We will have much more on this story as it develops…
Update 5:23 PM: Some more details on what’s going on…
We originally reported that both Sherk and Franca both tested positive for nandrolone metabolite. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Sherk tested positive for nandrolone while Franca was found to have drostanolone in his system.
Sherk’s suspension will last the length of his current license with the CSAC - 355 days. An additional suspension of 10 days will be added on if Sherk decides to apply for a new CSAC license.
Franca’s suspension will last for the remainder of his current license with the CSAC - 363 days. The CSAC did not state whether or not Franca will have to endure an additional suspension if he chooses to apply for a new license next year.
UFC President Dana White released this statement regarding the matter:
“Our policy on fighters using steroids, illegal drugs or any banned substance remains the same - you cannot use them,” said UFC President Dana White. “It’s not only unhealthy and unsafe, it is against the law. The UFC fully supports the commission’s efforts and we will continue to take measures that keep this sport clean and keep the athletes safe.”
TKO Major League MMA has announced that Stephane Dube and Tyler Jackson will clash in a lightweight affair at TKO 30: Apocalypse.
Stephane Dube is a member of BTT Canada who sports a TKO record of 6-1. Dube is a Muay Thai expert who holds impressive KO victories over the likes of Kajan Johnson, Greg Compton, and James Martinez. If Dube can defeat Tyler Jackson he will be in line for a TKO lightweight title shot against Sam Stout.
Tyler “TNT” Jackson is a member of the Revolution Fight Team who sports a TKO record of 1-3. Jackson is a talented striker with knockout power and a granite chin. Jackson sole TKO victory came over Donald Ouimet at TKO 27: Reincarnation.
TKO Major League MMA has announced that Bob Landry (1-1), Valerie Letourneau (1-1), and Adrian Wooley (2-0) will appear on the undercard of TKO 30: Apocalypse. Their opponents are currently unknown.
TKO lightweight champion Sam Stout recently spoke with Marco Antico about his upcoming title defense against Martin Grandmont as well as his recent loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 10.
“As far as losses go, it’s pretty much as good as they come. It was an exciting fight and it was the main event on free TV. I’ve gotten mostly all positive feedback from the fight and I know the UFC wants me back,”
“I know I can beat Grandmont. We fought in amateur kick-boxing a couple of years back and all three judges’ scored it 30-27 in favor of me. I think I’m a more complete fighter than him, especially after working on my wrestling with Couture for the past fight.”
Stephane Dube, who is scheduled to appear on the card, recently took time out of his scheduled to call upon Sam Stout who he feels is dodging him. Dube said, “Sam Stout is to fight Martin Grandmont, I would like to know if you are avoiding me. Are you going to wait for me to be 50 years old, before fighting me? A real champion never back down from a challenge, unless you think that I am too much of a challenge for you.”
Stephane Dube is a member of BTT Canada who sports a TKO record of 6-1. Dube has been impressive during his time in TKO finishing his 5 of his 6 opponents by strikes. Dube is a Muay Thai expert who hold victories over the likes of David Medd, Jacob MacDonald, and James Martinez.
Stout rebutted by saying…
“anyone can get on a microphone and call someone out. But, does Dube really deserve a title shot? Who has he really beaten? Most of his opponents have losing records! And he’s been fighting at 170lbs lately so who’s he really fought at Lightweight anyway?”
Stout’s opponent, Martin Grandmont, also took time to speak with Marco Antico about the upcoming title fight and his past encounter with Stout.
“Yes, I feel that I deserve this title shot. I have waited a long time for this and I am very excited about the opportunity”, stated Grandmont. “I know Stout is going to be a great challenge for me, but I know what I need to do to win.”
“I fought Stout in kick-boxing long time ago and he beat me in a decision. But, he never hurt me once with anything; he doesn’t hit hard. He was always just throwing one more punch than me. He won on points but a few months later I beat the guy that took the amateur title from him (Dave Jones). Good for Stout, he beat me in amateur kickboxing, but this is MMA. It is going to be very different in September”
We’re still two months out and it’s heating up folks! For the latest TKO 30 fight card, check out the Rumors section.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- We have confirmed through a source that Jason Black has inked a new four fight contract with the UFC. Also it looks like former UFC lightweight champion Jens “Little Evil” Pulver will be making his WEC debut on September 5th at WEC 30.
- TKO has announced that Bob Landry, Adrian Wooley and Valerie Letourneau will be fighting at TKO 30: Apocalypse.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Thiago Alves will face Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC Fight Night 11.
- It looks like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida at UFC 76 in September.
- Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti has pulled out of his July 16th K-1 Hero’s fight due to an undisclosed injury.
- Be sure to check out our latest rankings as well as our current poll…
OC Register: News and Notes from UFC 73
Sherdog: Cage Rage Aims to be “Hard as Hell”
Sportsnet: All-Canadian Title Fight
InTheNews UK: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
PR.com: Mainstream MMA Announces Expansion/Growth Plans
TKO Major League MMA has officially added Samuel Guillet vs. Yves Lemelin to their September 28th show title “TKO 30: Apocalypse”.
Samuel Guillet is an aggresive fighter who sports a TKO record of 4-4. Fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Guillet holds victories over the likes of Peter Franchi, Tyler Jackson and Jimmy Tat. Guillet is known for his slick submissions training under Fabio Holanda at BTT Canada.
Yves “The Shark” Lemelin is a skilled kickboxer from Drummondville, Quebec who sports a TKO record of 2-1. Lemelin holds victories over the likes of Daniel Boissoneault and Steve Pouliot and his sole TKO loss came to the hands of Daniel Boissoneault at TKO 27: Reincarnation.
The trend of future UFC matchups being revealed is continuing this week and UFC President Dana White is a big part of it.
White announced a trio of possible future matchups at the post-fight press conference for UFC 73:
- Anderson Silva will meet Rich Franklin for the second time in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout on October 20th in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was announced that Franklin would face the winner of last night’s bout between Silva and Nate Marquardt after UFC 72 and White confirmed the situation last night.
- White also announced that BJ Penn has decided to stay in the lightweight division and will challenge Sean Sherk for his UFC Lightweight Title in November.
- Mirko Cro Cop will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira later this year provided that he is victorious over Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 according to White.
White also stated that Chuck Liddell will most likely fight again in September during an interview yesterday on the Scott Ferrall Show:
“Chuck is probably going to fight again in September,” White said yesterday on the radio program. “We’re working on a big fight for him. We don’t have it done yet, but Chuck is chomping at the bit to jump back in there and fight again.“
This contradicts previous reports that had White saying that Liddell now wouldn’t be able to fight again until November.
White made clear about yet another possible matchup during an interview with The Gainesville Sun that would take place at UFC 76: Maurico Rua would make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida.
Rua, a 205-pound Muay Thai specialist, is scheduled to start at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. White said Rua’s most likely first opponent will be Ryoto Machida (10-0), though Forrest Griffin said he would like the fight.
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.”
The main event at TKO 30: Apocalypse will feature Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout as he returns to TKO to defend his lightweight title against Martin “The Hammer” Grandmont. In the co-main event, Chris “The Menace” Clements will battle Sean “The Pimp” Pierson for the vacant TKO welterweight title.
Sam Stout (11-3-1) is the current TKO lightweight champion who sports a TKO record of 10-0. Stout trains at Team Tompkins with the likes of Mark Hominick, Chris Horodecki, and Chris Clements. Stout holds victories over the likes of Fabio Holanda, Jay Estrada, and Spencer Fisher. Stout’s opponent, Martin Grandmont (5-3), is a native of Drummondville, Quebec who holds a TKO record of 4-2. Grandmont is a well versed kickboxer who holds victories over the likes of Tyler Jackson and Dave Pariseau.
Chris Clements (4-1) is a native of Chatham, Ontario who sports a TKO record of 4-0. Clements trains at Team Tompkins and holds victories over the likes of David Medd, Steve Pouliot, and Martin Grandmont. Clements possesses excellent striking, devastating ground and pound and incredible strength. Sean “The Pimp” Pierson (5-3) is a talented wrestler who sports a TKO record of 3-2. Pierson trains at Shah Franco Martial Arts and holds victories over the likes of Chester Post, Mark Colangelo, and Steve Vigneault.
Also on the card will be UFC and WEC veteran Mark “The Machine” Hominick.
For the latest TKO 30 fight card, check out the Rumors section.
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
Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…
UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:
Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.
Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.
Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.