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Sean Sherk - "The Muscle Shark"

Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk was born on August 5th, 1973. Fighting in both the UFC and PRIDE MMA leagues, Sherk has proven himself as a fighter to be reckoned with. After beginning standard wrestling training at the age of seven, Sherk moved on to the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy to train under Greg Nelson. He trained hard and fast and his coaches quickly realized that, with training in wrestling, Muay Thai, Shooto, and Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, Sherk was a prime candidate for a professional career in MMA fighting.

Sherk began his professional MMA career fighting for the Combat Submission Wrestling team at the Dangerzone MMA event in Minnesota. After leaving a trail of defeated opponents in his path his was picked up by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001. Following a tough loss by decision to Matt Hughes in 2003, Sherk went on to win the PRIDE Bushido 2 event in Japan. It was there that his nickname "The Muscle Shark" came to be, stemming from the Japanese word ‘katakana’ which means both Shark and Sherk in that language.

After another massive win in Kona, Hawaii, Sherk went on to win eleven fights in a row by submission or TKO. Despite this, he was not picked again by UFC. Following the birth of his first child, Sherk left professional MMA fighting to help run his father's flooring business. He continued to express his bitterness at not being invited back to the UFC through the media, and aimed his discontentment largely at the new and unproven fighters being given the same opportunity via the Ultimate Fighter reality television show.

After that same television series gave the UFC a huge boost in popularity following its first season, UFC management invited Sherk back for a bout with welterweight contender George St. Pierre. Although Sherk lost that fight by TKO, the UFC decided to offer him one last chance, inviting him to battle Nick Diaz in UFC 59. Sherk defeated Diaz handily with a unanimous decision, earning him his first win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 2002. Sherk quickly announced his intention to lose enough weight to drop a class into the lightweight division. Only six months after his win over Diaz, Sherk defeated Kenny Florian by unanimous decision, becoming the UFC’s lightweight champion.

After taking a break to rehabilitate after he tore a rotator cuff, Sherk returned to defend his title against Hermes Franca in UFC 73. He won by yet another unanimous decision after a full five rounds.

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