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It’s official: B.J. Penn’s first title defense will be against Sean Sherk

As if it wasn’t obvious after the UFC handed former lightweight champion Sean Sherk a microphone during Saturday night’s main event between B.J. Penn and Joe Stevenson, UFC president Dana White confirmed in a press conference after the event that Penn’s first defense will be against Sherk during a card in May.

As of now, the card is expected to be UFC 85 on May 24 in Las Vegas with a light heavyweight match between Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida also possible.

Penn won the lightweight title last night for the first time in his career after two previous unsuccessful when he submitted Stevenson with a rear naked choke at 4:02 of round 2. The win made his just the second fight in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes, as Penn is the promotion’s former welterweight champion.


  • Handover Fist says:

    Ortiz vs. Machida would be a very interesting match up.

  • canuck says:

    BJ was dominant over Stevenson, but he was shockingly winded. He’ll need to up his stamina if he wants to keep pace with the steroid shark

  • Al says:

    How long before the UFC is hosting weekly cards? Bunch of muppets – A stacked card once a month is infinitely preferable to 3/4 weak cards in the space of 2 months. Your fanbase WILL begin to resent that. I appreciate you want to maximise your current popularity, and make as much money from it, but it smacks of short-termism.

  • Tyson says:

    ? I know you arent talking about this card.. One where 6 of the 8 fights were stopped. 5 were knockouts.. What more do you want?! I am so confused by some fans.. It was great. what about it was so terrible?

  • mike wolfe says:

    BJ winded in the second round? What a shocker!

  • bubbafat says:

    Sean Sherk and Matt Hughes went to a five round decision right? So, I don’t see Sherk bringing anything more to the table than Matt Hughes. I believe 9 times out of 10 Penn beats Hughes. I wouldn’t normally say A beats B so A beats C, but Matt Hughes and Sean Sherk are practically clones.
    And when exactly did you see Penn gas? If it was at the END of the fight does it count as gassing?

  • Mikee says:

    Where in the world do any of you get the inclination that Penn was gassed?? Are we too blind or ignorant to read his body language for what it really was?? I am sure his emotions were unexplainable having obtained something that he has so long been wanting and trying for and I would like to see anyone be involed in such an intense, fast paced brawl and not take some deep breaths upon finishing!! First round or fifth, I am sure he was breathing sighs of relief

  • Mikee says:

    As for the Penn vs. Sherk match in may, I can’t believe that it is even a debate. Hermes Franca and Kenny Florian aren’t even on the same level as Penn. Stand-up or on the mat. Top or bottom. Sherk will have to fight someone that he won’t be able to take down and if he does will most likely stand right back up. Everyone knows Penn is an escape artist from underneath. If Penn is able to get top posistion, forget about it. Sherk will be done. Everybody knows will happen on their feet as well. Don’t be fooled by Sherk’s “impeccable” record. Anyone can gain high numbers fighting oridinary people.

  • brutus says:

    Uh Sam… they fought for the actual title, not an interim.

  • derreck says:

    I can’t believe the UFC openly backs a steroid user by handing him the mic and giving him an immediate title shot. What gives?

  • mmaninja says:

    It’ll mostly be a replay of Sherk’s last title defense. He’ll get lit up standing, but on the ground he’ll dominate but not inflict much damage.

    Should be fun either way it turns out

  • And Sean Sherk keeps digging the hole deeper (from a Las Vegas Sun article, talking about BJ Penn):

    ““There’s a lot of things the guy does that I don’t have any respect for, including his work ethic and his party lifestyle,” Sherk said. “What kind of representative of this sport is that? We can’t be out there drinking and beating up cops.

    “That’s not the kind of guy we want to be associated with the UFC lightweight championship. On top of that, he doesn’t train hard. He’s pudgy. That’s not what this sport is supposed to represent.”

  • bigfish042 says:

    I cant believe I am saying this, but I actually felt bad for Sherk when he was booed horribly at UFC 80. Sure, he didnt really need to say anything negative about BJ, but, hey Penn just said that Sherk is “dead”.

    I thought Sherk was going to cry. If he REALLY, REALLY is innocent and had NO idea that he ingested the ROIDS…..then it is a shame, all the below

    – All the money he spent on defense
    – All the money lost from suspension/fine/not being able to fight
    – Losing the belt he worked so hard for
    – Being embarrased in front of huge audience
    – Booed and the loss of fans he once had. He is hated now

    That is a shame if the dude is really innocent. Just think if you did all that work to accomplish a dream, then lose it all, get booed and almost rejected by almost everyone, IF you were innocent.

    After all that babbling, I still think he is guilty, well I sure hope the hell he was after the treatment he is getting AND will continue to receive. I just have a little compassion for the dude now. He justs needs to forget about it, not mention anything about it and move on.

  • Mike Fagan says:

    Sean Sherk has done nothing to prove his innocence to me.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Don’t know whether he did or didn’t juice. Either way, he’ll have to man up and prove his wins were for real. As far as the boo birds go, he should write them off as alchohol impaired dumbasses and resolve to prove them wrong. He’s always been a conditioning freak, and if he can get the fight into the fourth and fifth rounds, BJ will fade and he’ll have his chance.

  • Danny says:

    sherk is lucky to have even beaten hermes with all the knee shots to the head that he received. sherk is probably the most boring fighter in the ufc. his only offense is the good ol’ lay-n-pray. his alligator arms are too short to reach anyone so he doesn’t do that much. i’m hoping bj KO’s him. he needs a good kick in the head like hughes to start respecting his opponents. i’d rather see bj fights guys like ken-flo, edgar, huerta, or even danzig.

  • Jiu-Jitsu Guy says:

    I must say that I think Sherk is a complete joke. He got booed for a reason at the last UFC. He is a cheater who will not accept responsibility for it.

    And yes, he looks like he is on roids. I realize that is not a very good argument, but if it walks like a duck (caught with it in his body), talks like a duck (liar), it’s a duck. I don’t think he deserves to be in the sport. He should be out of the UFC, as he is the best example of what is wrong with sports (little wimp cheaters who would be nothing without help).

    For him to deny it is a joke. His body is about as fake as I have ever seen.

    And while I’m at it, Belfort and the rest are wimps too. I’m annoyed that some of the best in all of sports the last two decades have been flat out cheaters. To the ones who did not, congrats on doing it the right way.

    Ken Griffey Jr. comes to mind. I have so much respect for him now, as he did not cheat like his counterpart Bonds. He may not have as many home runs and didn’t get all the attention, but he is not going down in history as a disgrace like Roid Boy Bonds.

  • bitches says:

    u people all cry like bitches!!! just because u dont watch what u eat and train for a living u have to say people cheat! just cause u dont know what it takes to get like that! ur all stupid! he passed his blood test he passed a lie dector test ur all crazy! i know sean i know he did not and does not take steriods………….

  • birdman says:

    it doesnt matter if sean sherk used all the steroids in the world BJ Penn is still gunna dominate standing up or on the ground, its no challenge for him hes gunna win

  • a fan says:

    guys sean sherk is going to keep a quick pace. now i know bj is in the best shape of his life but he is not at the level of sean. over 3 rounds sean wins less bj.

  • Justin says:

    totally agree with you bitches. No one trains harder than sean sherk. He testest positive for unnatural high levels of Nandrolone, about double the normal limit. People who have tested positive for this steroid normal have between 4 and 10 times the legal limit. The California State Athletic Commission couldn’t even prove that the drug tests were administered. Have you seen UFC All Access with Sean Sherk’s training routine? If you haven’t watch it. This guy is the most dedicated fighter in the UFC (I agree that BJ’s in the top 3 for talent) and couldn’t it be quite possible that he’s as big and ripped as he is for his superior dedication to training (he’s been lifting weights since he was 7) and nutrition (Sherk says he eats for performance, not for taste). No one’s as well conditioned or pound-for-pound as strong as Sean Sherk in the UFC. I’m just really sick of this guy getting ripped on, and everybody assuming big guys who work out or all athletes are on juice. While you can debate whether he’ll beat bj or not (I’m betting on Sherk), just give this guy the respect he deserves.

  • parrapa the scrappa says:

    putting aside seans steroid use, what does the muscle shark have that could even trouble bj? he will get embaressed in the stand up, put to shame on the ground, and ultimately depressed when he got a monster of a fighter like penn who has phenomenal jiu jitsu, a stand up that shook gsp, and the flexibility of stretch armstong. penn will kill sherk no doubt….1+1=? do the math


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