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Why should Sean Sherk be top ten?

Yesterday I posted my top ten pound-for-pound list and the list for some reason always draws a strong response.

I couldn’t help respond to a comment inquiring as to whether Sean Sherk’s omission from my top-ten lightweight rankings was intentional. And of course my decision to keep Sherk out was intentional. The question I have is when was the last time Sherk recorded a valid victory at lightweight?

Operative word: valid.

Sorry, but Sherk’s victory over Hermes Franca at UFC 73 this past July is not valid. If a fighter is suspended for testing positive for performance enhancers follow a victory, how can you still consider it a legitimate win? It doesn’t matter to me that Franca also tested positive because steroids are a banned substance and fighters are prohibited from using them.

If you go to Sherdog’s fight finder, you will see that Sherk’s victory is official. However, that’s only because by law the California State Athletic Commission does not have the authority to overturn a decision. Granted, Franca tested positive too so the decision shouldn’t be reversed, but if Sherk had tested positive in Nevada, his win would have been declared a no contest.

I really have no idea whether Sherk has ever used steroids. But you cannot argue the fact that he failed CSAC’s test for performance enhancers and that his appeal was denied. While Sherk’s suspension was reduced by CSAC from 12 months to six, he is still considered guilty. Until Sherk is successful in clearing his name, I just don’t see how anyone can look at the Franca victory and consider it legitimate.

So in my mind, the win over Franca is not really a win, which means that Sherk’s last victory at 155 lbs. was on October 14, 2006 at UFC 64 against Kenny Florian. I mean, it’s 2008 and his last win was in 2006! As such, it wasn’t even a toss up when deciding not to rank Sherk in my lightweight top ten. Let him register a valid victory for the first time in 18 months before making a claim that he’s one of the best lightweight fighters in the world.

If Sherk beats B.J. Penn in May, he’ll be top-ten worthy. And if he doesn’t, he’ll be stuck on the outside looking in.