Friday, July 20, 2007

UFC Lightweight Division Sticks Needle in Ass, Gets Caught

I like Hermes Franca and Sean Sherk. Really. They’re amiable, friendly and down-to-earth guys, and they embody a lot of the hard work and dedication that makes this sport great. But them testing positive for steroids – after their epic, five-round war at UFC 73 – truly sucks. Words like “integrity” and “honesty” come to mind, as well as phrases like “true champion” and “role model to many”. Ultimately, though, like fellow juicers Royce Gracie and Phil Baroni, the top 155-pound challenger and the UFC lightweight champ are only human. Sometimes the money is worth the risk.

Just prior to the test results being made public, Franca issued an apology, saying he was injured during training and under a lot of pressure to perform. Sherk, on the other hand, is purportedly going to appeal the test results (remember: in 2005, UFC fighter Nate Marquardt failed a post-fight drug test only to be retested and deemed clean). I sincerely hope it’s a false-positive in Sherk’s case. The word “cheater” should not belong in the same sentence as “champ”.