It’s been more than two years since former UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk was seen inside the Octagon, narrowly outpointing Evan Dunham at UFC 119. At 39 years old, and with a huge period of inactivity, it might seem to some as though “The Muscle Shark” decided to retire quietly and has been busy focusing on his life after fighting.

In reality it appears Sherk is doing the exact opposite, recently revealing he’s simply in the process healing up from a series of nagging injuries before returning to the ring at some point in the future.

“I’m a fighter, that’s what I do. I don’t want to be the guy sitting on the outside of the Octagon. I don’t want to be the guy that’s coaching other people to get into the cage and fight. I like being a fighter. I like having the coaches and the trainers coach me. I like the whole process leading into a fight, the mental aspect. I like how if feels walking into that Octagon, and I like hearing that crowd just go crazy when you get into those big scrambles and those big long combinations. The whole process is just so fun for me,” explained Sherk in an interview with MMAWeekly. “At this point in time, I’m not ready to walk away and become a coach and retire yet.”

“I still think I’m a top lightweight even though I haven’t fought in two years. I think you can throw me in there against the No. 1 guy, and I’m going to give that dude hell, if not beat him. I don’t think anyone in the weight class is going to walk through me or look at me as being an easy fight,” he continued. “I’ve been beaten four times in 11 years, and I think that speaks for itself.”

Though the 36-4-1 Sherk may not be ready to hang his gloves up yet, even he sees the writing on the wall and has no illusions about being able to compete for another 5-10 years.

“Eventually, I’m going to have to come to terms,” Sherk admitted. “Eventually, I’m going to have to walk away from the sport, but hopefully that’s not for a little while yet.”