Evening News and Notes: April 14, 2008


Sean Sherk weighs-in for UFC 73: Stacked. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Despite being scheduled to challenge B.J. Penn at UFC 84: Ill Will next month, former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk was only officially released from his suspension under the California State Athletic Commission earlier today it was announced. Sherk had not paid his $2,500 fine until this afternoon according to CSAC official Bill Douglas.

Fisher-Stephens Signed for TUF 7 Finale

A lightweight bout between Iowa natives Spencer Fisher and Jeremy Stephens will likely take place at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale according to our friends at MMA Junkie. Both fighters were offered the bout last week and bout agreements are expected to be signed shortly.

Fisher is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar in November. Stephens, who last stopped Cole Miller with strikes in January, was originally slated to take on Terry Etim next month but was forced to pull out of the bout due to a reported minor legal situation.

Carano Speaks Out

Ariel Helwani of the newly created MMARated.com, a good friend of the site, has a very interesting interview with Gina Carano up. Carano claims that she will attempt to balance tapings for the second season of American Gladiators and training for her upcoming fight against Kaitlyn Young on May 31st at the same time. Interestingly enough, she also states that despite being advertised for EliteXC: Street Certified in February, she was never approached about fighting at the event. It’s a must listen, so check it out.

In Defense of Jake O’Brien

Fight Opinion‘s Iain Liddle has an interesting piece up today discussing the UFC’s decision to release heavyweight prospect Jake O’Brien, who was given the boot despite winning three out of his four bouts with the organization, including an upset over current title contender Heath Herring.

While Liddle bashes the UFC for their decision to let such a promising young fighter like O’Brien go, I believe it was really in O’Brien’s best interest. His wins over Shockman and Midoux were victories over fighters that shouldn’t have been in the UFC in the first place. He was nearly stopped by Herring, who was fighting injured, during the third round of their fight. A non-wrestler in Arlovski also dominated him.

We have to remember that O’Brien hasn’t even been in the game for three years yet. He has a lot of time to develop. Fights against top-ranked heavyweights have certainly helped him and using that experience while sharpening his skills in smaller shows will make for a quick return to the UFC. I don’t buy the notion that the UFC released him because he was a boring fighter. If that was the case, Lyoto Machida would have been sent packing a long time ago.

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