Sean Sherk, 40, officially retired from fighting as of today; it was announced on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour.
Sherk has not fought since a Fight of the Night winning split decision over Evan Dunham at UFC 119, late in 2010.
In an interview with BJ Penn Radio earlier this year, Sherk discussed what he would need to get back into the cage, and what is keeping him out.
“Many, many years of wear and tear," said Sherk. "I don’t want to get into specifics of what’s injured or what’s beat up just because if and when I do step back into the cage I don’t want my opponents pinpointing anything specific."
“The injuries have piled up. I haven’t fought a fight healthy since I fought Georges St. Pierre in 2005... I have had serious injuries every single time I stepped in the cage for every single fight."
"It’s just part of the game, it’s a young man’s sport and you can’t do it forever... I have fought injured for so long, it’s just not something I’m willing to do anymore. I only want to fight if I’m 100%.”
Sherk has endured an avalanche of injuries, including torn rotator cuff, a dislocated foot, torn knee ligaments, bulging discs, and more.
Sherk began wrestling at age seven, and placed at States every year in High School in Minnesota. Sherk did not attend college, and instead dicovered MMA at Greg Nelson's Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in 1994. He started competing in the late 90s, and lost a title fight to UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes at UFC 42 in 2003.
In 2006 he beat Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision to win the UFC lightweight championship, and defended the title against Hermes Franca. He would lose the title to BJ Penn in 2008.
Injuires increasingly kept him out of the cage thereafter, fighting just once more in '08 and then once more again in '09 and '10.
He leaves the sport with a record of 34-4-1, and holds wins over Karo Parisyan (twice), Manny Gamburyan, Nick Diaz, and Kenny Florian, among many others. His four losses were all to former world champions.
'The Muscle Shark' currently coaches at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, and helped develop and market the Traing Mask.