Sherk stripped of belt, but promised another title shot

Local UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk

has been

stripped of his title

after testing positive for a banned substance. Following his successful July title defense against Hermes Franca, Sherk tested positive for Nandrolone, according to the California State Athletic Commission. Joe Stevenson and BJ Penn will fight in January for the vacated belt.

But the news wasn't all bad for Sherk. Following an appeal, his ban from fighting was reduced to six months, meaning he'll be eligible to return to the ring next month. And UFC boss Dana White defended his conduct. “I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he’s been honest throughout this whole process,” White said. “But BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.”

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