He hasn’t competed in nearly three years, but even as recently as a few months ago former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk hinted at his eventual comeback. Just this last May, Sherk told BJPenn.com Radio that “I’m not saying I’m done by any means. My mind wants to fight. My body wants to fight.” Sherk battled a number of injuries throughout his lengthy career, and he only wanted to return to the cage if he felt his body was ready for a full training camp.
It appears that the career of one of the most physically imposing lightweights of all time has come to a close. In a press release dated to be released tomorrow through TrainingMask.com (one of his major sponsors) but acquired by SciFighting, Sherk made official his intent to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts. Along with listing the former champion’s career accolades, the release indicates that “Sherk plans to maintain his involvement with Training Mask while coaching MMA, and teaching seminars. Sherk is also continuing a successful career in real estate investment.”
Sherk leaves the sport with a stellar 36-4-1 record, including wins over Karo Parisyan, Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, and Tyson Griffin. His legacy has been impacted by a failed drug test following his successful title defense over Hermes Franca, calling into question the legitimacy of his prior performances. He has adamantly denied wrongdoing, even calling into question the procedures used to test his urine sample, and he successfully lobbied to reduce his suspension at the time. Regardless of the controversy surrounding his career, the “Muscle Shark” remains one of the best lightweights of his era.