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 411mania » MMA » Columns

411 Fighter Profile: Sean Sherk
Posted by Fredrick Peterson on 05.14.2008

411 Fighter Profiles

Sean Sherk


Nickname: " Muscle Shark "
Record: 35-2-1
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Height: 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Hometown: St. Francis, Minnesota
Ranking 5th Lightweight
Association: Minnesota Martial Arts Academy
Organizations: UFC, PRIDE, BP, EC, SF, CFX, PFA, ICC, YYYT, Pancrase, UW, KOTC, and Reality Submission Fighting,
Accomplishments: Former UFC Lightweight Champion


Sean was crowned the new UFC Lighweight Champion after defeating Kenny Florian by Unanimous Decision. He was the second ever UFC Lightweight Champion after the belt was reinstated in 2006. Sean Started his career with 14 victories and 1 draw which got him the big call to fight for the UFC. During the next few years Sean amassed an impressive record with his only loss to then Champion and future hall-of-famer Matt Hughes (which was for the welterweight title). After this fight Sean would go on to win 11 more victories before retiring from MMA. Sean was unable to find enough fights to provide for his family and decided to get into the flooring business. After the Ultimate Fighter brought on the potential of the UFC, Sean got back to training and after one more victory again got the call to fight in the UFC. In his first fight back Sean was stopped for the first time by current Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. Since this loss Sean has gone on to win his last three fights and capture the Lightweight Title, defending it once. After his defense Sean tested positive for steroids, a charge which he venomously denies. After getting his suspension reduced to six months Sean was stripped of the title. For his first fight back on May 24 at UFC 84: Ill Will, Sean will get a chance to regain the title which he never lost against "The Prodigy" BJ Penn.

Since his return to the UFC, popularity has evaded the Muscle Shark. Between the steroid scandal and penchant for not finishing fights Sean has become the Tim Sylvia of the Lightweight Division. Many (if not most) MMA analytics do not feel that Sean deserves an automatic shot at the title due to his steroid suspension and many claim that he got the fight due to his close friendship with UFC president Dana White.

Regardless of his current non-popularity Sean Sherk remains one of the most dominant fighters in the Lightweight division. Between his strength, excellent wrestling, and top-notch conditioning he makes a tough fight for anyone in the Lightweight division. Sean does have 13 submissions and 8 (T)KO to his name. His victories include wins over Karo Parisyan, Tiki Ghosn, Manvel Gamburyan, Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, and Hermes Franca. At UFC 84 Sean will try to prove all the naysayers wrong (BJ included) and once again become the UFC Lightweight Champion.

Early Life

Sean Sherk was born in St. Francis, Minnesota on August 5, 1973. Sean's desire for physical competition started at the young age of 7 where he competed at amateur wrestling for 11 years and racked up over 400 wins. Sean continued to fight for the rest of his life. In the mid 90's Sean decided to take up MMA. He discovered the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy where he began to study the other aspects of MMA and continued to hone his dominant wrestling ability. During his first few years of professional fighting Sean also worked as a machinist and would train during his lunch break.

MMA Career

Win, Roscoe Ostyn, Unamimous Decision, 2nd round 5:00
    Dangerzone-Manhomen, 6.19.1999
-Sean wins his first fight by unanimous decision.

Win, Johnnie Holland, Sub (Keylock), 2nd round 2:10
    UW-Ultimate Wrestling, 8.13.1999

Win, Kurtis Jensen, TKO, 1st round 3:45
    Extreme Challenge-Trials, 10.9.1999

Win, Scott Bills, Unanimous Decision, 1st round 10:00
    Extreme Challenge 28, 10.9.1999

Win, Steve Gomm, Unanimous Decision, 1st round 10.00
     Extreme Challenge 28, 10.9.1999
-The Muscle Shark wins his Second fight of the Night.

Win, Karo Parisyan, Unanimous Decision, 1st round
     Reality Submission Fighting 1, 10.10.2000
-After a year layoff Sherk comes back strong with a big victory over rising Judo star Karo Parisyan.

Win, Ken Parm, Unanimous Decision, 2nd round 10:00
     SFC-Submission Fighting Championships, 11.3.2000

Win, Karo Parisyan, TKO (Corner Stoppage), 1st round 16:20
     Reality Submission Fighting 2, 1.5.2001
-Sean gets his second victory over Karo.

Win, Tiki Ghosn, Sub (injury), 2nd round 4:47
     UFC 30: Battle On The Boarwalk, 2.23.2001
-Sean has a victory in his UFC Debut

Win, Manny Gamburyan, Unanimous Decision, 1st round 18:00
     Reality Submission Fighting 3, 3.30.2001

Win, Marty Armendarez, TKO, 3rd round 2:07
     King Of The Cage 8: Bombs Away, 4.29.2001

Win, Jason Purcell, TKO, 1st round 1:42
     UW-Ultimate Fight Minnesota, 6.2.2001

Win, Curtis Brigham, TKO (Corner Stoppage), 3rd round 1:15
     UW-St. Paul,7.15.2001

Draw, Kiuma Kunioku, 3rd round 5:00
     Pancrase-2001 Neo Blood Tournament Round 2, 7.29.2001
-The first fight The Muscle Shark did not taste victory.

Win, Claudionor Fontinelle, Sub (Rear Naked Choke), 2nd round 1:04
     UCC 6-Redemption,10.19.2001

Win, Jutaro Nakao, Unanimous Decision, 3rd round 5:00
    UFC 36: Worlds Collide, 3.22.2002

Win, Benji Radach, TKO, 1st round 4:16
    UFC 39: The Warriors Return, 9.27.2002

Win, John Alexander, Sub (Rear Naked Choke), 1st round 4:03
    EC 2-Extreme Combat 2, 12.7.2002

Loss, Matt Hughes, Unanimous Decision, 5th round 5:00, UFC Welterweight Championship
    UFC 42: Sudden Impact, 4.25.2003
-Sherk gets his first loss

Win, John Alexander, TKO, 1st round 2:31
    EC-Extreme Combat, 8.2.2003

Win, Mark Long, Submission (Strikes), 1st round 4:09
    EC-Extreme Combat, 12.12.2003

Win Charles Taylor, Sub (Keylock), 1st round 4:09
    EP-XXXtreme Impact, 12.28.2003

Win, Ryuki Ueyama, Unanimous Decision, 2nd round 5:00
    PRIDE FC Bushido 2, 2.15.2004
-Sean gets a victory in his lone PRIDE appearance.

Win, Kaleo Padilla, Sub (Neck Crank), 2nd round 1:17
    YTYT-You Think Your Tough, 4.17.2004

Win, Jake Short, Sub (Rear Naked Choke), 1st round 1:37
    ICC-Trials 2, 4.30.2004

Win, Eric Heinz, Sub (Neck Crank, 1st round 0:58
    PFA-Pride And Fury, 6.3.2004

Win, Gerald Strebendt, TKO, 1st round 3:52
    EC 58-Extreme Challenge 58, 6.11.2004

Win, Darin Brudigan, Sub (Arm Triangle Choke), 2nd round 1:46
    CFX 2-Cage Fighting Xtreme 2, 9.4.2004

Win, Brodie Farber, Sub (Choke), 1st round 0:55
    SF 6-Battleground In Reno, 9.23.2004

Win, Lee King, Sub (Arm Triangle Choke), 1st round 2:20
    EC 60-Extreme Challenge 60,11.12.2004

Win, Joel Blanton, Sub (Rear Naked Choke), 1st round 3:22
    BP-Pride And Glory, 9.17.2005
-Sherk finishes his eighth fight in a row 7 Subs, 1 TKO

Loss, Georges St. Pierre, TKO, 2nd round 2:53
    UFC 56: Full Force, 11.19.2005
-Sherk loses his debut in the revamped UFC. This is also his only stoppage loss.

Win, Nick Diaz, Unanimous Decision, 3rd round 5:00
    UFC 59: Reality Check, 4.15.2006

Win, Kenny Florian, Unanimous Decision, 5th round 5:00, UFC Lightweight Championship
    UFC 64: Unstoppable, 10.14.2006
-Sherk wins the newly reinstated Lightweight title that saw Sherk bloodied.

Win, Hermes Franca, Unanimous Decision 5th round 5:00
    UFC 73: Stacked, 7.7.2007
-Sherk Defends title. Subsequently Sherk tests positive for steroids and is stripped of UFC title after appeal is denied.

Since a lot of Sherk Fights were hard to find here is a highlight video:

The Future

Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk has the fight of his life on May 24, against BJ "The Prodigy" Penn. This fight will prove who really is the strongest lightweight in the UFC. In the stacked lightweight division Sherk and Penn are head and shoulders above the rest. Love him or hate him Sean has something to prove here. After already testing clean due to "random testing" this fight should be a war and many of Sherk's questions should be answered.

As always the One FP


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