The California State Athletic Commission announced earlier today that they have reduced UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk’s suspension from one year to six months.
Sherk will now be permitted to return to action on January 19th. He will not be fined the original amount of $2500.
According to a Sherk quote posted by MMA Weekly, this whole ordeal might not be ending anytime soon:
Following the hearing, he stated, “I’m not happy at all with (a six-month suspension and fine). This is not over,” indicating that he would be discussing possible legal action with his attorneys.
I guess we’ll be finding out over the next couple of days whether or not Sherk will be stripped of his title. He is available to fight again next month but it depends whether or not the UFC is going to take the fact that he is still considered to have tested positive for steroids under consideration.
Also announced today was the upheld suspension of light heavyweight Kazuhiro Nakamura. Nakamura’s mandatory 90 day suspension will continue and he will be forced to pay a $500 fine. The CSAC originally announced that Nakamura tested positive for marjiuana on September 26th.
Adam Smith’s appeal was dropped after he failed to appear at his scheduled hearing.
Fight Opinion: Sean Sherk eligible to return to action in January
The Fight Network: Sherk Suspension Halved
MMA Junkie: Sean Sherk’s Steroid Suspension Reduced, Eligible to Fight in January.
MMA Mania: Report: CSAC reduces Sean Sherk steroids suspension to six months
Bloody Elbow: Sean Sherk Eligible To Fight In January
Five Ounces of Pain: Highlights from Sean Sherk on the Stephen Quadros Show
UFC Daily: The Latest CSAC Verdicts; Sherk’s Suspension Reduced
411 Mania: More News From Sherk Appeal Hearing
Update 12:00 PM: Sherdog spoke to Sherk after the ruling went down and learned that Sherk plans to never fight in the state of California again:
“Absolutely not. No way. It’s not even an option,” Sherk said. “It won’t even be offered to me. I will not fight in the state of California again. No way.”
The California State Athletic Commission granted continuances to both Kazuhiro Nakamura and Adam Smith in their appeals of positive tests for drugs of abuse and anabolic agents.
No word on when the two fighters will have to appear in front of the commission again.
Nakamura tested positive following post-fight tests for UFC 76 in September. Nakamura currently faces a $500 fine and a three-month suspension.
Smith tested positive for two different kinds of steroids, Nandrolone and Stanozolol, as well as marijuana and cocaine during post-fight drug tests following Strikeforce’s event at the Playboy Mansion on September 29th. Smith is currently being fined $4000 and may be suspended for close to two years.
Happy Halloween bitches!
News and Notes
- Officials at Team Link have confirmed that Gabriel Gonzaga will indeed take on Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
- Sean Sherk, Phil Baroni, Adam Smith, and Kazuhiro Nakamura will all go in front of the CSAC this afternoon to try and get their original positive tests overturned by the commission. We will have full coverage throughout the day.
- FIghtlinker has all of the documents that were handed out at yesterday’s UFC press conference. (PDF)
- Adam Swift has a new article up on Sherdog where he dives into a standard Zuffa contract. What he found may tell us that Randy Couture’s contract certainly isn’t up after nine months:
The most infamous clause is the so-called retirement provision, which is largely responsible for the war of words—retirement versus resignation—between the UFC and Couture since his Oct. 11 departure from the company.
“If at any time during the Term, Fighter decides to retire from mixed martial arts or other professional fighting competition,” the clause begins, “then ZUFFA may, at its election, (i) suspend the Term for the period of such retirement; (ii) declare that ZUFFA has satisfied its obligation to promote all future Bouts to be promoted by ZUFFA hereunder, without any compensation due to Fighter therefore; or (ii) elect to provide Fighter with notice of an Acceleration.”
For all practical purposes, sub clause (i) allows Zuffa to retain the rights to a retired fighter in perpetuity. Sherdog.com has confirmed that this clause does not appear in every Zuffa contract; it is believed to be reserved for top fighters. The term of the contract may also be extended indefinitely for any period when a fighter is “unable, unwilling or refuses to compete or train for a Bout for any reason whatsoever.”
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will sign a new three-fight deal with the UFC after his bout against Marcus Davis takes place at UFC 80:
“I will keep fighting for the UFC,” Liaudin said. “I need to go slow and build myself up, work on my weak areas. Training with Team Quest [before UFC 75] really improved my game. I need to keep doing stuff like that.”
- The IFL has announced that Vladimir Matyushenko has signed a contract extension that will keep him in the IFL through the end of 2008.
Sherdog: Matyushenko Meets Schoenauer for IFL Grand Prix 205-Pound Title
Fightlinker: Dana White’s personal heavyweight rankings
Five Ounces of Pain: Round 5 MMA figures on my Christmas list
MMA News: Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 1]; Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 2]
Bloody Elbow: Trevor Prangley Talks Strikeforce Middleweight Tournament
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: UFC winning the PR battle?
News and Notes
- The Fight Network is reporting that Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will face Mike Rourke in his promotional debut at EliteXC: Renegade on Nov. 10 at the America Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
- Randy Couture’s agent spoke with The Fight Network yesterday shooting down rumors about Couture earning between $3.25 and $3.75 million per fight.
“Based on Randy’s contract, $3.25 to $3.75 million is not even in the ballpark,” Walker said. “It’s beyond exaggerated. He’d never make that. I know what he’s been paid; I’ve seen the pay-per-view numbers. The numbers that are being thrown around are not accurate. Whoever gave that information does not have their facts straight.”
- The Fight Network is also reporting that B.J. Penn, the UFC’s current number one contender for the lightweight title may not face either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson until early February.
- So is Joe Riggs in or out of the Strikeforce middleweight tournament?
Loretta Hunt says that he’s out:
Joe Riggs will not be one of the four contestants to compete in California’s first regulated four-man tournament scheduled for Nov. 16’s Strikeforce “Four Man Enter, One Man Survives” event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Riggs declined the slot, however, and will seek a single fight on the card instead.
“It’s a timing thing,” said Riggs’ manager Scott Lewis. “He just fought two weeks ago and he doesn’t want to step into the cage two times in one night. We’re speaking with Scott Coker [Strikeforce’s promoter] to see if we can get him a single fight that night. He loves working with Strikeforce and is looking to get on that card.”
However Sam Caplan reports that Riggs is still undecided:
When contacted by ProElite.com, Riggs did confirm that his status for the tournament is currently uncertain but did not rule out the possibility of competing in it.
According to Riggs, his former agent, Ken Pavia, committed him to the tournament without receiving proper consent. Riggs now has new representation and is evaluating the opportunity. He indicated that he could ready to make a decision on whether he will compete in the next several days.
- Be sure to check out our newest feature ‘Break It Down’ where John and I provide our thoughts and predictions on every fight set to take place Saturday night at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
- Don’t forget to cast your vote on our latest edition of ‘Rock the Vote’.
- UFC veteran Elvis Sinosic will replace Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at Cage Rage 24. Sinosic will be stepping up to face British fighter Paul Cahoon.
- Adam Smith will appeal his positive tests for steroids, marijuana, and cocaine with the CSAC.
- Eddie Alvarez has told Sam Caplan that he’s been informed to prepare for a possible rematch with Nick Thompson in December.
Sherdog: In Enemy Territory
Sherdog: Silva-Franklin II: Unlike Any Other
MMAWeekly: UFC Champ Arrives in Cincy
The Cincinnati Enquirer: Fighters, fans get their MMA fix in Cincy
Web Devil: Pankration gives Sun Devils shot at MMA world
FCFighter Radio: Bart Palaszewski and Sean Salmon
It was already announced that Adam Smith had tested positive for cocaine and marijuana following the post-fight tests for Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event last month.
Now Smith has been found to have tested positive for two different types of anabolic steroids according to the CSAC, making Smith the first athlete to ever test positive for both anabolic agents and drugs of abuse in one instance in the state of California.
Ken Pishna breaks down Smith’s suspensions and fines:
His positive test for anabolic agents represents a second separate violation, which earned him a separate set of repercussions. He now will serve an additional suspension from June 26, 2008 through the end of his licensing year, which is Sept. 27, 2008.
He has also been assessed an additional 271 days to complete the second suspension (totaling 365 days), which begins when he reapplies for licensure in California. A fine of $2,500 was assessed for the anabolic agents test failure. The total time of suspension for Smith’s combined infractions is now 21 months with fines totaling $4,000.