Sean Sherk has spent the past few years going back and forth between talk of returning to the UFC for ‘the right fight’ and retiring due to vague injuries that never seemed to heal up. Now he’s decided to firmly plant himself on the side of retirement, and with that decision he can finally explain what the hell has been wrong with him:

“Now that I’m retiring I can tell the truth,” he says. “I know it’s always been one of the top questions. Obviously I couldn’t say anything because otherwise opponents would pinpoint that stuff, but I had MRIs done [ahead of the Penn fight] and found out that both of my hips were torn and that I was going to need surgery. The doctor basically told me at that point in time, ‘if you have surgery on this you’ll never be 100 percent again – you’ll lose your mobility, you’ll lose your quick twitch and some of the explosion, and you’ll lose some of the agility.’

“And to me it just wasn’t worth it, so I said, you know what, I’ll just deal with the pain. I said, I’ll just deal with this as long as I can. And that’s what I did. Gradually over the years my hips got worse and worse and worse. About two weeks ago I was told I needed hip replacement surgery. So that was the deciding factor right there. I went from needing surgery to fix torn labrums to needing total replacement.”

This explains a whole lot – why he only fought four times after his steroid suspension in 2007, and why he went from one of the most dominating blankets in the UFC to a middling kickboxer afterwards. Still a mystery: why Sherk didn’t opt for the fucking hip surgery before it became a full blown hip replacement clusterfuck. Losing ‘some of the explosion and agility’ doesn’t sound great, but it sounds better than spending the majority of the last five years on the UFC’s permanently injured list.

And let’s not forget all the whispers and rumors that came along with that inactivity, which many attributed to a post-steroid collapse. But nope. Sounds like Sean just had a really bad injury, and possibly really bad medical advice.