Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca have both decided to file official appeals with the California State Athletic Commission less then one day after it was revealed that both had tested positive for steroids.
According to CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia, Sherk and Franca will be scheduled to have their appeals heard on August 6th, the same day that Phil Baroni and all of the other fighters that have tested positive in recent months will also be in attendance to state their case.
Garcia also stated that he spoke to Sherk on the telephone yesterday afternoon and that Sherk told him he had never heard of the steroid Nandralone until now.
Franca has already admitted to taking drostanolone in order to heal an injured ankle before the fight even though he has filed an appeal. The appeal is most likely being submitted in order to have Franca’s suspension time possibly reduced.
News and Notes
- Yesterday it was announced that both Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca tested positive for banned substances after their fight at UFC 73: Stacked. Should Sherk be stripped of his title? We want your thoughts and votes!
- After a fallout with Stephane Patry, Jonathan Goulet has confirmed that he has signed on with Ken Pavia and will be fighting Mike Swick at UFC Fight Night 11.
- Showtime and Pro Elite have announced that Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros will handle the commentating duties for the new ShoXC MMA television show which is scheduled to debut on July 27th at 11 PM EST.
- UFC veteran Josh “The Dentist” Neer will be fighting Paul Rodriguez on Friday July 28th at Greenspark FC 5.
Video of the Day
- A little music from Eddie Bravo!
Yesterday it was announced that current UFC lightweight champion Sean “Muscle Shark” Sherk tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic agent, following his successful title defense at UFC 73: Stacked. Our question to you is, “Should Sean Sherk be stripped of the title?”
In the past we saw heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Josh Barnett test positive for anabolic agents and both fighters were stripped of their titles and suspended. Should Sherk get the same treatment?
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.”
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.”
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
Here’s a collection of media links focusing on UFC 73: Stacked:
Sherdog: Evans Confident for the Ortiz Test; Franca Ready to Make His Dream a Reality; “Stacked” UFC Offers Two Title Fights; Sherk to Offer Franca “Eye Opening” Experience; Great Sherdog Debate: UFC 73
MMAWeekly: Sherk Looks to Defend, Franca to Conquer; Fight-by-Fight: UFC 73; Alvin Robinson Wants to Prove He Belongs; Wanting to Show Fans the Real Jorge Gurgel; Tito Isn’t Looking Past Rashad Evans
The Fight Network: Bocek Makes Fighting a Family Affair; Not Just a Match; An Unlikely Champion
InsideFighting: Rashad Evans is Ready to Take on the Best; Kenny Florian: “I am very, very hungry to fight”; Tito Ortiz “Speaks against”; Hermes Franca: “If my heart is still pumping I can win.”; Sherk Enjoys Finally Being at the Top of the Mountain
UFC: Rashad Evans - His Time Has Come; Tito Ortiz - Last Stand or a Rebirth?; Nate Marquardt - The Challenger; Hermes Franca’s ‘Rocky’ American Dream; Losing is not an option for Frankie Edgar; Marquardt to test Silva’s Mettle as Champion
MMANews: Interview with Hermes Franca
CBS Sportsline: Q & A with Sean “Muscle Shark” Sherk
Denver Westword: A Denver fighter takes on the ultimate challenge
Philadelphia Inquirer: N.J. fighter taking talent to the big cage
OC Register: UFC 73: Stacked preview (with Tito Ortiz video); UFC president Dana White: Meet the Press
Yahoo! Sports: In Hot Pursuit; No pushover; Matchup Breakdown: Silva-Marquardt; Matchup Breakdown: Sherk-Franca
NBC Sports: Word War I: Ortiz, Evans set to rumble
TSN: Herring ready for 3rd bout with Nogueira; Ready to Fight; Bonnar looks to make a fresh start; Bocek prepares for UFC debut
Sportsnet: No backing down for Sherk; ‘Two cats in a burlap sack’; Sherk’s a workout machine; Stacked fight predictions
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has stated on his official blog that he has started training again and hopes to be fighting in October.
- Mark Bocek, who will be making his UFC debut this Saturday against Frankie Edgar has stated that he spent the majority of his time training for the fight with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico.
- K-1 has announced the updated card for it’s Hero’s 9 event on July 16th:
Caol Uno vs Katsuhiko Nagata
Kazuyuki Miyata vs Vitor Ribeiro
Hideo Tokoro vs Kultar Gill
Gesias Calvancanti vs Andre Dida
Alexandre Franca Nogueira vs Shuichiro Katsumura
Katsuyori Shibata vs Ralek Gracie
Dong Sik Yoon vs Bernard Ackah
- Joe Riggs’s next fight will be on July 21st against Dan Chambers at Hardcore Fighting Championship’s debut event. Ricco Rodriguez and Ron Waterman will also be fighting for the third time on the card.
- Jason Day has announced that he may be fighting in the UFC in September according to The Fight Network.
- Countdown to UFC 73 will air tonight for the first time on Spike TV at 10:30 PM EST. UFC All-Access featuring UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will air immediately after that.
- Staying with the television theme, The History Channel has a new MMA-related show starting on July 20th titled “Human Weapon”:
The History Channel is jumping on the MMA bandwagon. The network will premier “Human Weapon,” at 10 p.m. Friday, July 20. Hosted by welterweight jiu-jitsu artist Jason Chambers and former professional wrestler Bill Duff, the show will traverse the globe as the two introduce viewers to various martial arts disciplines.
The series opens in iconic referee “Big” John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif. Episode one will focus on muay Thai, as Chambers and Duff travel to Bangok, Thailand, home to the martial art that made Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua household names. From ancient killing techniques in the jungles to weapons training among the ruins of a Buddhist temple, the hosts will attempt to master aspects of the centuries-old discipline in hopes one of them can survive a bout with an international muay Thai champion.
Future episodes will take viewers to Russia to study Sambo (likely with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko) and to Israel to study Krav Maga, a fighting system developed in Europe and employed by various Israeli security forces. The series will also feature exhibition bouts, including one filmed yesterday with former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
- Ken Pavia, manager of Phil Baroni, has stated that Baroni will seek a second opinion from doctors on his pending surgery for a torn groin muscle and hernia.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages has posted an excellent article titled “The Ballad of the Muscle Shark”. The article documents the career of UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk who went from outcast to champion.
Sherk was left with a dilemma. He could bide his time with Cox and hope to eventually get a title fight. Or he could drop his manager and take his shot at the belt. Ultimately, his desire to fight Hughes won out.
“It was really disappointing,” Cox says. “He was the first fighter that I had managed that ever left. I traveled all over the world with Sean.”
Sean Sherk has been on the shelf for the past 9 months after he underwent surgery to mend his torn rotator cuff. Sherk’s first title defense will come July 7th at UFC 73: Stacked when he steps into the octagon with Hermes Franca.
On a recent Tuesday morning at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Sherk spars for the first time in nearly six months. He’s 11 weeks out from the fight and ramping into full training mode. Over the next 10 days, he’ll shed 25 pounds, a trial run for the July weigh-in. The goal is to get his body acclimated to 155 pounds. “You’ve got to get used to it so your body’s not going to go into shock,” Sherk explains.
The first 20 pounds he’ll shed through dieting and hard work. The final five he’ll sweat off in the sauna. After the July weigh-in, he’ll have 30 hours to rebuild his strength. By the time the bout begins, he’ll be back up to 175 pounds.