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Sherk out, Neer in

(“You guys got somethin’ to say to me? Why don’t you say it in the microphone.”)

Former UFC Lightweight champion Sean Sherk has been removed from the October 24th UFC card. Monte Cox says Sherk injured his shoulder during training and will have to take a four week break from throwing lead-filled pianos through third floor windows while wearing SWAT gear, or “>whatever other crazy crap he does in training.

Josh Neer got the call from Joe Silva to take the fight on short notice. The match now stands as Neer vs. Gleison Tibau. (Fun fact: Fight Finder was updated recently, and Tibau has an armbar over Thiago Alves.) Although Neer/Tibau is a solid fight with a lot of potential, it kinda ruins the UFC’s plans for The Muscle Shark. Sherk has had a bad case of boxer-itis in his last few fights, and Gleison’s style was supposed to be the penicillin that would force a well-rounded fight; Tibau would have turned the fight into a mad three round clinch/grappling battle. Instead, Sherk will get a new, less assertive opponent on a later card and continue to pigeon-hole himself into being vertically one dimensional.

But enough about what could have been – let’s focus on what will be. Josh Neer is coming off of a decision loss to Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 101 in August, a fight he would have won had Donny Jessup been the referee, and is completely heated about it. As we all know, an angry Neer is an aggressive Neer. (He’s kinda like a gorilla in that way. And in the talking way, too.) Expect this new fight to be some serious back-and-forth brawling and grappling that makes up for the “meh” feelings we got from Neer/Pellegrino.

One thing is a bit curious though: Sherk has said he’d never fight in California following his false positive in 2007. Is it possible that he agreed to take a fight in the state now that it’s under new ownership, but changed his mind when seeing they still don’t have their stuff together either? Cage Potato thinks so in a “No, just kidding. But really, I’m not” kinda way. Sure it is. Sherk makes a living off of competing, and if he decides he doesn’t want to risk the postman coming to his house empty handed for nine months, it’s his decision; he’s a grown (5’6”) man. Besides, Sean has had issues with his shoulder for years and even fought Kenny with a blown rotator at UFC 64.

The whole thing does look like it’s too convenient, but it really is just a guy having to pull out of a fight. At least this time we’ll get a match with potential out of it.