Sherman Pendergarst, 45, has died after an extended battle with colon and rectal cancer.
The southpaw Miletich Fighting Systems protege had an extensive fighting career, beginning in the Heavyweight division in 2005, before dropping to Lightheavyweight in 2010. Before being sticken with cancer, Pendergarst had moved as well into fighter management.
Pendergarst fought in both the UFC 65 and Bellator, among many other promotions; opponents included Joey Beltran, Shane Carwin, and Antoni Hardonk.
Teammate Rory Markham annouced the news via Twitter, along with a call for a prayer:
Rory Markham UFC @RoryMarkham
Pray for my boy Sherman, he has just passed. I dont ask this much so say one.
Teammate Mike Cies posted in The Undeground:
Member Since: 3/20/02
The world just lost a great guy. Sherman had a big heart and was a great person. He passed in his battle with cancer at 45 years old. Sherman was a HUGE part of MFS over the years. The team would never have been the same without him. Im glad I got to train with him countless times over the past decade and see the man do what he truly loved. Sherman never thought he could do some of the things he did. He was just a normal guy who took up MMA as a hobby and somehow ended up fighting in the UFC, Bellator and everywhere in between. Im glad he got to live his dream at Miletich Fighting Systems.
Sherman always drank one glass of red wine a day. Today I'm going to have a glass of red wine and appreciate life a little more.
RIP "The Tank"
Coach Pat Miletich posted a remembrance, via Facebook:
For those that knew and loved Sherman, we are sorry to say that he passed away peacefully this morning. He was a gentle giant, The Tank, that was known, admired and loved by so many near and far. He was a strong man that cared for others first always before himself. He worked hard his entire life, but never expected anything from anyone in return.
He came to Miletich Fighting Systems after having quit his job as a mortgage broker because he wanted to be a fighter! The first time he sparred he got knocked down but they could not keep him down. He kept at it because being a fighter was his dream. He was a true warrior, he fought to live and lived to fight. He appreciated all the words of encouragement and support these last couple years as he was fighting his greatest battle of all. Don't ever lose the FAITH! Rest in peace Sherman you truly truly will be missed by all.