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UFC 73: Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca?

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sean sherk vs hermes franca ufc
We knew this fight was coming ... we just weren't sure when.

Until now.

UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk (31-2-1) will finally defend his title for the first time since winning it nine months ago against Hermes Franca (18-5) at UFC 73 on July 7, according to the latest speculation at MMAWeekly.com.

Sherk has been on the mend since winning the 155-pound belt at UFC 64 in October 2006. He suffered a rotator cuff injury during the five-round unanimous decision victory over Kenny Florian that required surgery.

After taking out Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 8 earlier this year, Franca got on his knees during the post-fight interview and implored UFC President Dana White to give him a shot at Sherk.

And, it looks like it worked.

Sherk and Franca could not be more opposite, making for a rather odd match up.

Franca is a scrappy, exciting and unpredictable submission ace who is riding a red hot eight-fight win streak. And, every single one of those fights Franca somehow ended early.

Sherk is a methodical, deliberate and a rather boring wrestler-type who is content to take a fight immediately to the ground and work for a submission or ground-and-pound stoppage.

He's a strong, mountain of a man who has only lost to two of the best 170-pound fighters in the world -- Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre.

On the surface, I don't see anyway that Franca can win this fight.

But, he's earned it and will no doubt come prepared.

Franca is incredibly hard not to root for.