Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Sean Sherk will not be stripped of his UFC lightweight title and B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson will face off for an interim title at UFC 80 in January in Newcastle, England. UFC president Dana White stated that he was fed up with the way the California State Athletic Commission has handled the Sherk case and because of that he has opted not to strip Sherk.
White had vowed to strip Sherk of the title, but said Friday that he no longer plans to do so.
“The way this whole thing has been handled has been a mess,” White said.
He said Penn and Stevenson, who said he learned on Tuesday that he and his wife will have another son, will fight for the interim title as the main event of UFC 80 in Newcastle, England, likely on Jan. 19.
The winner of that bout would then presumably face Sherk once Sherk’s status is defined by the commission.
Sean Sherk appeared before the CSAC on Oct. 31 but his case was postponed to Nov. 13 after the commission released they had not received the 17-page brief from Sherk’s attorney Howard Jacobs.