UFC President Dana White reiterated his stance that lightweight champion Sean Sherk would be stripped of his 155-pound title if the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) shoots down his steroids appeal in October, according to FOXSports.com.
"The Muscle Shark" was popped for having traces of the banned illegal anabolic steroid known as nandrolone in his system during his successful title defense against Hermes Franca at UFC 73: "Stacked" on July 7.
Throughout this scandal White has supported the Minnesota-based fighter and refuses to pass judgement until a final decision is reached with the CSAC. That stance hasn't changed, considering White came out with guns blazing yesterday when the topic was introduced during UFC 74 media day.
Here's a snip:
"I've said this a million times: Sean Sherk is a good guy. I've known him for a long time. I don't think he's a liar.... You could look at him and the guy looks like a bodybuilder. But this is a kid who won't walk through the casino because he doesn't want to inhale smoke. He tells me he didn't take steroids. I believe him. That (appeal decision) is not up to me. That's up to the California State Athletic Commission."
Sherk was penciled in to face BJ Penn at UFC 78 at the Prudential Arena in Newark, N.J., on November 17. However, if the appeal is denied he will be suspended for 12 months and his 155-pound strap will be up for grabs.
It's widely believed that with a win over Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 74 this weekend, Joe Stevenson will earn a date with Penn later this year to fight for the vacant title if Sherk is indeed sidelined.
Here's another snip from White worth passing along:
"What would happen every Sunday every time an NFL player put his cleats on and headed out to the field they were tested by the government for steroids? You want me to tell you? There would be no football, OK? Football would be over. Every player would be on suspension. Maybe the quarterback and the kicker would be out there on Sunday."
In typical Dana White fashion the statement is hyperbole at it's finest. But he does raise a very valid point: Fighters are tested each time they perform and the punishment is significantly harsher if tests are failed than say a four-game suspension in the NFL.
What more can the UFC do to deter fighters from ingesting illegal substances?
Let us hear it.