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Audio: Kevin Iole discusses Dana White’s decision not to strip Sean Sherk

Yahoo! Sports boxing and MMA columnist Kevin Iole spoke with UFC president Dana White on Friday and was informed that due to the California’s State Athletic Commission’s handling of Sean Sherk’s appeal of a one year suspension for testing positive for steroids, Sherk will not be stripped of his lightweight title regard of whether the commission ultimately votes to uphold Sherk’s suspension.

Steve Cofield was able to catch up with Iole and interview him on his radio show in Las Vegas on Fox Sports Radio. You can access that audio by clicking here.

What White is essentially saying with this decision is that CSAC’s pending decision is irrelevant at this point and that Sherk in his mind is his champion regardless of whether the commission finds him guilty.

There’s no denying that CSAC’s reasons for delaying their ruling on Sherk’s appeal this past Wednesday were completely unprofessional but it feels as though White is using it as license to allow Sherk, a fighter that he has called a personal friend, off the hook because of a technicality. Iole raises a good point in that if CSAC refuses to overturn or even amend Sherk’s suspension, that White could look bad in this situation.

As Iole also states, White could look good if CSAC rules to either overturn or reduce the suspension but what if they don’t? How can a fighter test positive for steroids and receive a suspension for it from a major state athletic commission and still retain his title?

It’s possible that Sherk’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, has a strong defense and that Sherk is truly innocent. But shouldn’t White wait until CSAC rules on the appeal one way or the other? White said from the get go that Sherk would be stripped if he lost his appeal and he’s going back on that statement simply because CSAC dropped the ball?

  • Jeremy says:

    Dana definitely should have waited. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it.

  • Tommy says:

    Dana has f’ed up here for sure. Sherk hired a high power lawyer to muddle things up, that’s what they do. Seems like Sherk is off the hook nomatter what. Except for maybe a fine and a prolong suspension not allowing him to fight and therefore to make an income. Wonder who’s paying these laywer fees? Would be something to find out Dana was footing that dime as well.

  • Rory says:

    IMO Dana is making a power play against the CSAC. But if the suspension is merely reduced, Dana won’t look good; the CSAC will just look that much worse.

  • We’ve seen Dana do this in the past so I’m not surprised about this bullshit. But it is bullshit. Nice posting recently, too, Sam. Some real solid shit on here. Looking forward to getting back in action when I get back from Mississippi.

  • Mike Olson says:

    Thank god! This is great news. We now get two great fights out of the deal! Serves the CSAC right for being a bunch of yahoos who don’t have their shit together! Couldn’t be happier. He didnt knowingly take them. Look at pics of this guy from back in the day! He also passed a lie detector test, need more proof?

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I guess you could argue the point that the CSAC compromised their integrity to such a point the other day that even if they were to find Sherk guilty, people would still not beleive it.

    However, if Sherk still gets a year… Penn v Stevenson should be for the actual title. You cant have the champ out for a year, after he previously was inactive for 7 months, especially if hes been wholey convicted of being on steroids.

  • Jake Taylor says:

    In regards to post #6, Sherk won’t have to sit out a full year. If the CSAC decides to slap him with a year’s suspension, it’s retroactive to his last fight which was back on July 7th. So he’ll only have to wait until July 6th 2008 in order to be able to fight again.

    I think it’s great that Dana’s sticking it to the CSAC. Dana runs a very professional organization and expects the CSAC to do the same. They made a big mistake. How do you just misplace something as important as a 7 page letter from Sherk’s attorney?

    The CSAC is putting Sherk’s livelihood on hold, therefore I think it’s great that Dana’s stickin it to the man.

  • Rln says:

    “We’ve seen Dana do this in the past so I’m not surprised about this bullshit. But it is bullshit.”

    It’s hardly bullshit. What happens, in say two weeks, if the CSAC prolongs the decision again for an indefinite amount of time? You end up with multiple fighters waiting on the outcome, not just Sherk. He’s has taken the power from the commission and put it back in Zuffa’s hands where it belongs. It’s also quite probable that he has seen the evidence that Jacobs has amassed and believes Sherk is innocent.

  • dizzle says:

    Dana is going to strip him of the belt? I think it has to do with marketing. But I think it’s unfair that he gets caught doing illegal things and isn’t punished by UFC. But instead Dana backs his friend and says he believes he didn’t do anything wrong which is BS.


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